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Malaria in Central/South America

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Malaria in Central/South America

1. Posted by emilybrit (Budding Member 61 posts) 8y

Can anyone give any advice on Malaria tabs needed for Central/South America.. has anyone been and not taken them?? The following were advised by the travel nurse.. anyone got any feedback if you've been there and taken these?

Doxy - South America
Chloroquine - Central America

Cheers guys, any help would be appreciated :)

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

Hi Emily,

Your request for anti-malarial information concerning both Central and South America is a bit broad since they comprise a large piece of real estate. If you can give a bit of your itinerary, it will help members taylor their responses for those areas a bit more easily. With that said, I'll comment from a broader perspective. Oh, and just to be fair before I go on, there are members who travel both Central and South America extensively without ever taking an anti-malarial medication. It all comes down to a matter of personal choice that only you can make.

Central America - Chloroquine (which is a member of the quinine family of drugs) is prescribed because CA has not seen an influx of Chloroquine-resistant malaria at this time. It is a very effective medication and the drug of choice if you were only to travel in CA. (Dosage and timeline are: Chloroquine is taken once weekly, starting 1-2 weeks prior to travel, continued for the duration of the travel time and ending 4 weeks after leaving the malarial area. The medication should be taken on the same day of every treatment week.)

South America - Doxycycline is prescribed because SA does have several areas of Chloroquine-resistant malaria. Doxy is also a very effective medication and can be taken for up to 2 years duration non-stop. It is also very effective in Central America as there are no strains of Doxy-resistant malaria (anywhere) at this time. (Dosage and timeline are: Doxycycline is taken once daily, starting 1-2 days prior to travel, continued for the duration of the travel time and ending 4 weeks after leaving the malarial area.)

Since both medications are taken for 4 weeks after leaving a malarial area, Doxy would be the drug of choice for both CA and SA. You can not take Chloroquine and Doxy at the same time (ie: finish up the Chloroquine while starting the Doxy).

For more information about anti-malarials, areas of concern, side effects and links to other sites (CDC, WHO, Mayo Clinic) look at the TP Wiki Travel Guide - Malaria.

Also, here are three threads where similar questions have been asked. (There are quite a few threads but they tend to run in streaks and these three are the most recent.)

Malaria
rabies and malaria
immunisations required?

Personally, I would opt for taking an anti-malarial and I would choose Doxy. But, I'm also someone who forgets to use insect repellent on a regular basis.

Hope this helps and enjoy your adventure!

3. Posted by emilybrit (Budding Member 61 posts) 8y

That answer couldn't be more perfect... thank u so much :)

Definitely gonna opt for doxy, I'm not hardcore enough to go without any at all!

Less than six weeks to go... arrghhh, can't wait.. thanks again, em :)

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

You are more than welcome, Emily.

Send a PM to me if you need any other help or information. Again, enjoy your travels!