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Malaria

Travel Forums Asia Malaria

1. Posted by indio (Budding Member 84 posts) 10y

My friend and I are travelling around Laos, Cambodia and Thailand for 1.5 months this summer. My friend is English and her doctor recommends that she takes malaria tablets where as I'm Danish and my doctor says that it shouldn't be necessary. We won't only be staying around the big cities and our journey also includes a visit to a national park etc. Does anybody have any suggestions or advice to whether we should get the tablets or not? We've also heard that the tablets can make you really ill, and besides that they're stupidly expensive
Thanks for your help!

2. Posted by festie (Budding Member 39 posts) 10y

its up yo you guys whether you take the tablets or not! i'm travelling to the same area you are and personally, i reckon you should take them! I took doxycylcine (sp) last time i was in Cambodia and Loas and i didnt suffer any side efeects. Even though we met peole who had suffered pigmentation (use an extra high suntan lotion) and crazy dreams.

if you do decide to take them they are cheaper to buy in Thailand. I recommend a Boots Chemist out there.

my only worry is that i shall be taking them for about 3 months as you are recommend to carry on taking them for a while after you have left the affected area. This cant be good for your immne system, can it?

3. Posted by sapphyre (Respected Member 418 posts) 10y

Hello,

I agree with festie that you should take them especially if you're venturing beyond the cities. Singapore and Brunei are the only countries in SEA that have no malaria risk. Check out this link http://www.cdc.gov/travel/regionalmalaria/seasia.htm

There're different types of antimalarial drugs and you'll be prescribed them according to the place you're going (resistance patterns), whether you can tolerate the side effects, how long do you have before you're leaving etc etc. And how long you have to continue taking them after your trip depends on the drug you're given too. Doxycycline is pretty side-effect free but it's not a first line drug (since it's an antibiotic). Those who had pigmentation and weird dreams were most probably on mefloquine.

Taking them for 3 months should not be a problem. You can do a check with your doctor or pharmacist who will have the necessary reference as to the maximum length of time the drug you're on can be taken. Some can be taken for up to 2 years safely.

I think it would be better to get the tablets in your own country, or somewhere else reliable. Try to get the generic drugs if they're available since they're supposed to be cheaper. SEA is one of the regions where counterfeit drugs are a problem.

4. Posted by Laura_B (Respected Member 352 posts) 10y

Prevention is the key, as antimalarial drugs are not 100% effective. I took doxycycline when in SE Asia, but stopped taking them after a while as I found I was too senstive to sun & it was spoiling my trip. It was so painful to be in the sun at all, I had to cover up & sit in the shade.

As the sun goes down, you should cover yourself with a good repellent, preferably one that contains DEET.

5. Posted by penna (Full Member 110 posts) 10y

when i was travlling in asia doctors there told me that if u are going for 3 months or longer you shouln`t take them because if you do catch it your body is already used to the drugs and they have to give u massive doses with awful side-effects. it is good to carry some pills so that if u r in a really isolated area (which from what you have said you probably wont be) and you think u have caught it you can take a large dose to ward it off till u get to a doctor. if you do decide to take them buy them when you get there. u wont need a prescription and they are cheap

6. Posted by road_trip (Full Member 203 posts) 10y

I've just got back from an hour long consultation at a specialist travel clinic. The places you mention are the places I am going to also, and it was strong suggested that I take some form of anti-malarial drug. The malaria in Cambodia has a resistance to Mefloquine (larium) and so you shouldnt use that. You cant take Malarone either as its maximum usage time is 1 month. I'd go for Doxycycline, buy it before you leave. In the UK I have been quoted at £22/week for a prescription. You must take it one week before you enter a Malaria region and for 4 weeks after the last day of possible exposure.

Hope that helps...;)

7. Posted by Andyroo (Full Member 109 posts) 10y

man... there are sooo many people doing the same as me this summer!!

Ive just had a 40 minute consultation in regards to malaia tabs etc..Doxycyline is the less expensive, but i got told that it has more side effects..!!

Is it worth risking til i get to thailand to purchase them, from 'boots', because surely they'd be genuine!!
Malarone is ridiculously expensive.. and the only bonus is that u dont get as many side affects, and also u dont hav to take them as long afterwards!! nothin really to shout about then..?

8. Posted by Andyroo (Full Member 109 posts) 10y

also... ive bought insect repellent from boots.. 50% DEET! The lotion version and two roll ons!!
Ive also looked at buyin one single 100% DEET bottle from blacks.. to cover me at high risk times/areas?

Wot repellent brands do other people use!

Andy

9. Posted by loubylou (Travel Guru 664 posts) 10y

I have used loads of different insect repellants, the gel one from Boots, 50% DEET in the grey bottle is the only one I use now as it is really effective. I am allergic to so many things, but somehow I'm not allergic to this one! I would definitely recommend Boots' own brand!

Donna

10. Posted by road_trip (Full Member 203 posts) 10y

Quoting Andyroo

man... there are sooo many people doing the same as me this summer!!

Ive just had a 40 minute consultation in regards to malaia tabs etc..Doxycyline is the less expensive, but i got told that it has more side effects..!!

Is it worth risking til i get to thailand to purchase them, from 'boots', because surely they'd be genuine!!
Malarone is ridiculously expensive.. and the only bonus is that u dont get as many side affects, and also u dont hav to take them as long afterwards!! nothin really to shout about then..?

You need to take them before you enter a malaria risk area so buying them in Bangkok may not be best, unless you're not heading out anywhere for a few days. Personally, I've been there twice now and didn't take any, even with a trek up in Chnag Mai. The only really risky area is KO Chang.

Quoting Andyroo

also... ive bought insect repellent from boots.. 50% DEET! The lotion version and two roll ons!!
Ive also looked at buyin one single 100% DEET bottle from blacks.. to cover me at high risk times/areas?

Its pretty cheap out there so dont waste your money buying it here in the UK. As long as its got loads of DEET, I've found them to work fine.