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Health Precautions, Dom Rep

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Health Precautions, Dom Rep

1. Posted by dramaqueen (Budding Member 14 posts) 11y

dramaqueen has indicated that this thread is about Dominican Republic


My mum and I are going to the Dominican Republic in June 2006, we have been to cuba in 2002, 2003, 2005, and North Africa in 2004, so we have already had the polio, hep, and tetanus.

I read in the brocure that malaria is reccomended, we have not had this, my mum thinks you get tablets, but I've heard that people have been sick after taking them.

Is there an alternative?

2. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 626 posts) 11y

There is Malaria in the DR although tour operators strenuously deny it.
There is no 'alternative' against Malaria but the risk is low considering how many people travel there.
It's your call.

3. Posted by dramaqueen (Budding Member 14 posts) 11y

Thanks Sam:

I don't think it's worth risking to be honest! I might book an appointment with the doctor, I've heard there's one where the side effect is that you sunburn easier... that's no good for me because I don't tan very much anyway due to being blonde/ginger, but my mum has very dark skin.

I think I'll book an appointment to see the doctor closer to the time :-) I think a friend of my mum got some over the counter, and it was cheaper, and had less side effects!

4. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

Hi Alexandra!

The Dom. Rep. and Haiti are the only two countries in the Caribbean that have a high risk of malaria and where prophylaxis is recommended.

Chloroquine is the drug of choice for this area and will be the most effective. It is also one of the medications that has the least number of side effects and is well tolerated by most people. Take it with food to avoid any stomach upset. It is a tablet taken once a week, preferrably starting 3-4 weeks prior to your trip, and ending 2 weeks following your return. (We used it for our trip to Panama and had no problems. Since we didn't always remember to use our insect repellent, it was good to have the medication "on board".) Chloroquine is also one of the cheapest. Unlike Doxycycline, which can cause skin sensitivity to the sun (ie: burning and possible rash), Chloroquine will not cause that problem. Also, it does not have the same type of side effects that meflaquine (Larium) can cause (ie: "weird" or unpleasant dreams, etc.).
Just keep in mind that you will burn more quickly anyway, because of your location.

Here are the Centers for Disease Control comments:

Dominican Republic: Rural, with highest risk in provinces bordering Haiti. In addition, risk in all areas of La Altagracia Province, including resort areas.

All travelers to malaria-risk areas in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, including infants, children, and former residents of these countries, should take chloroquine as their antimalarial drug.

Most antimalarial drugs are well-tolerated; most travelers do not need to stop taking their drug because of side effects. However, if you are particularly concerned about side effects, discuss the possibility of starting your drug early (3-4 weeks in advance of your trip) with your health care provider.

Source: CDC - Caribbean

5. Posted by dramaqueen (Budding Member 14 posts) 11y

Woah, thanks Isadora:

Can I get this product over the counter then? I think I'll be using this one!

6. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

Quoting dramaqueen

Woah, thanks Isadora:

Can I get this product over the counter then? I think I'll be using this one!

It looks as though chloroquine is available over the counter in the UK. (Please realize I am in the US and the info I found may not be correct...)

The brand names are Avloclor (by AstraZeneca) and Nivaquine (by Rhone Poulenc).

Stratford Pharmacy - Avloclor

Stratford Pharmacy - Nivaquine

Both run about 2.25 Brit pounds (sorry, don't have the symbol) for 28 tablets.

Skip the proguanil (Paludrin) and proguanil/chloroquine (Paludrin/Avloclor) combo. You will not be traveling to an area where proguanil is a recommended prophylaxis, therefore it would be a waste of money.

7. Posted by dramaqueen (Budding Member 14 posts) 11y

Hi Isadora:

Thanks for that... I'll try the pharmacy... didn't realise you where from the US :-) thanks for the help

8. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

Glad I could be of some help, Alexandra!!! Enjoy your trip!!!! ;)