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Disease Prevention!

Travel Forums Asia Disease Prevention!

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1. Posted by sweetnessp (Budding Member, 11 posts) 20 May '08 12:57

What a cheery topic!

I'm just looking for advice or experiences with various vaccinations and most importantly anti malarials.

I'm going to South East Asia for 6 months. 3 months in Siem Reap and 3 months travelling through Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Malaysia.

My anti malarial options are Malarone or Doxycycline and the biggest difference between the two is £300!!

I've heard that the side affects of Doxycycline are pretty bad, any experience?

Thanks!

2. Posted by Buttfish (Respected Member, 298 posts) 20 May '08 17:15

hey, i just posted a similar question about doxycycline recently. there are some good answers there, may help you.

http://www.travellerspoint.com/forum.cfm?thread=49864 (link!)

good luck!

3. Posted by Erik85 (Respected Member, 274 posts) 21 May '08 03:51

I was on Doxycycline for about 3 months and didn't have any problems. But it would depend on the individual though - I tend not to get side effects from drugs.

300 pounds is a huge difference....be careful they aren't just trying to get money off you!

4. Posted by Isadora (Moderator, 13924 posts) 21 May '08 06:17

Both anti-malarials will be very effective for your areas of travel so the choice will be yours. Here's a breakdown of the differences and side effects:

Malarone
Malarone is a combination drug - combining two medications which have been used separately as prophylaxis for several years. Each individual drug has good long-term information available. In the combined form, less long-term info is available because it has not been on the market all that long. Most of the information is based on use by military personnel. It is very effective and also costly. The side effects include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and headache. Some people do experience unusual dreams while on Malarone. Most do not suffer any side effects at all and Malarone is well-tolerated. Alcohol comsumption is not recommended as it can precipitate or worsen the dizziness. There is also little information available about combined use of Malarone and alcohol. One advantage to Malarone is it's dosing schedule which is one pill per week. There is no information readily available concerning Malarone and oral contraceptives when used concurrently.

Doxycycline
Doxy has been used for many years as an anti-malarial medication and is also very effective. It has a great amount of long-term use information available and can be taken for up to 2 years continuously. It is a low-dose antibiotic (same dosage as used for the treatment of acne). Side effects include stomach pain, nausea and sensitivity to the sun - meaning quicker and more severe sunburn. Increasing the SPF level of your sunscreen is recommended. Do not take Doxy 1-2 hours prior to bedtime as lying down increases the chance of acid reflux (heartburn). Take Doxy with food and/or milk. Doxy is well-tolerated and most people do not suffer any side effects while on the medication. Doxy may decrease the effectiveness of oral contracepties and other barrier methods of birth control should be considered during the first 3-4 weeks. OC levels return to full-effectiveness at the end of that period. Also, because it is an antibiotic, some women do develop yeast infections so taking along an OTC treatment, as a precaution, is advised. Because it is low-dose, Doxy does not create a bacterial resistant situation should you require other antibiotic treatment for an infection or wound. Doxy is taken daily.

Personally, I recommend the Doxy over the Malarone because it is both medically and cost effective. those who have taken Doxy are usually very happy with their choice.

Latarina's Doxy Thread in Travel Gear

TP Wiki - Malaria

TP Search Results - Additional Threads About Malaira and Doxy Use

5. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru, 3535 posts) 21 May '08 07:38

I was on Doxycycline for 2 months in November - cant say l had any side effects whatsoever - maybe the slightess bit of nausea if l took the pill on an empty stomach but apart from that all was good!

There is a big price difference between Malarone and Doxy so it depends on your finances l guess. You need to keep taking Doxy for another 3-4 weeks after you come out of the malarial area where as with Malarone l think its only an additional week.

H

6. Posted by Isadora (Moderator, 13924 posts) 21 May '08 09:48

Quoting Isadora

One advantage to Malarone is it's dosing schedule which is one pill per week.

Correction: Malarone is taken DAILY, not weekly as I accidentally stated.

I have written about these meds often enough, I should not have made such a mistake. My apologies for the temporary mis-information...

someday I'll learn to type correctly too...

[ Edit: Edited on May 21, 2008, at 9:49 AM by Isadora ]

7. Posted by sweetnessp (Budding Member, 11 posts) 21 May '08 12:38

Thanks very much for your advice! I don't tend to (touch wood) suffer from side effects from medication so I think what I will do is discuss it with my doctor and perhaps try a few weeks of Doxy to see if it will suit me.

I'll check out all of your links. Thank you.

8. Posted by Nic82 (Budding Member, 3 posts) 22 May '08 00:18

Hey, im havin the same problem myself deciding between the two anti malaria options.

I dont know a great deal about it but im not sure why the difference in price would be £300??

You can get it on presciption from your doctor for £120 malarone and £15 for doxycycline or so my doctor tells me.

Hope this helps price wise.:)

9. Posted by sweetnessp (Budding Member, 11 posts) 22 May '08 08:35

Quoting Nic82

Hey, im havin the same problem myself deciding between the two anti malaria options.

I dont know a great deal about it but im not sure why the difference in price would be £300??

You can get it on presciption from your doctor for £120 malarone and £15 for doxycycline or so my doctor tells me.

Hope this helps price wise.:)

I've been quoted £410 for a 6 month supply of Malarone and £26 for a 6 month supply of Doxycycline.

10. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru, 1289 posts) 23 May '08 12:37

Quoting sweetnessp

What a cheery topic!

I'm just looking for advice or experiences with various vaccinations and most importantly anti malarials.

I'm going to South East Asia for 6 months. 3 months in Siem Reap and 3 months travelling through Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Malaysia.

My anti malarial options are Malarone or Doxycycline and the biggest difference between the two is £300!!

I've heard that the side affects of Doxycycline are pretty bad, any experience?

Thanks!

In Thailand you can buy Doxycycline without prescription in the local pharmacies. The price is real cheap, probably around 3.5 baht per capsule for locally made and a little more for the imported Doxy. There is some sensitivity to sunlight with doxy but I have used it off and on for many years with no noticeable damage.

When you purchase any meds from a pharmacy always check the data sheet that is packed with the meds. If the meds come from a common container ask for that data sheet. Also, check the expiration date of the meds. Check the data sheet for directions and any precautions to take. Usually there is a section in a language you can read.

When you take malarial medicines you have to start the meds before you enter the area where malaria may be. Also you have to continue for a few days after you leave that malaria zone too!

Some foreigners live in South East Asia and never come down with malaria and some local born and bred citizens come down with malaria! I would rather be inconvenienced by taking a capsule every day than be inconvenienced by malaria!

Good luck.