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Anti-Malaria Tablets

Travel Forums Asia Anti-Malaria Tablets

1. Posted by Four-4-2 (Budding Member 74 posts) 4y

Hi guys,

I was just wondering if anyone had any idea of how much anti-malaria tablets will cost roughly.

I went to Laos in the past for 10 days and the malarial tablets cost £70. This time I shall be in India for roughly 3 weeks, Thailand for around a month and a half, Laos a week, Cambodia a week and finally Vietnam a week. Baring Thailand, this is around 2 months of Malaria tablets and if 10 days cost me £70 i'm quite worried! There must be a cheaper alternative?

Many thanks for your help! :D

2. Posted by FUNJONO (Budding Member 64 posts) 4y

There are 4 types of Malaria tablets

Doxycycline cost around 6p a tablet & you only need to take it once a day (prescription only)

Chloroquine < do not take this (links to mental health problems) (prescription only)

Atovaquone/proguanil cost around £2.28 a tablet & you need 1 a day (prescription only)

Mefloquine Cost = Don't know (sorry) 1 tablet a WEEK (think you can buy off counter)

Option 1 is the best as its the cheapest > option 3 is far to expensive & I wouldn't use it unless you suffer from side effects through taking the others.

Option 1 & 4 are your best bet.

Hope this helped :D

3. Posted by sebcollins (Budding Member 21 posts) 4y

Good advise .. I've just started on the doxycycline which I bought once I was in Thailand, around 1/3 of the price of the uk

4. Posted by Four-4-2 (Budding Member 74 posts) 4y

Ok thanks guys! I was supposed to go to Laos last time but my 10 day supply of malarone got stolen, £70!! Could no way afford malarone for two months lol

Ive heard a lot about not being able to be in the sun much on doxycycline? Are there any other notable side affects?

5. Posted by The Tipsy Gipsy (Respected Member 34 posts) 4y

You should talk to your pharmacist when you pick up your script because there are some side effects and things affect people differently esp. if you take other medications.

Doxy can make you more likely to burn which is something you need to be careful of in Asia, it's a pesky hot sun there and you don't realise how hot it is until you look like a lobster.

It can also give you an upset stomach so something its best to take it with food.

But i am not a doctor so have a chat at the travel clinic when you get your prescription or at least talk to a pharmacist, they are free and usually quite helpful.

6. Posted by Four-4-2 (Budding Member 74 posts) 4y

Ok thanks for that. hmm I may go for the malarone as long as they are under the £150 mark. Less side effects to worry about!

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

Check out the Malaria page in the wiki travel health section. I'm sorry I can not give you approximate prices but can help with the meds and side effects related to them.

I agree with ReganasaurusRex about the use of doxycycline. You will have to continue it's use, after your return, longer than any of the other meds available (which there are actually 5) but causes the least problems.

Malarone definitely has it's side effects and has no long term use information. It can cause hallucinations and 'abstract disturbing dreams'. It was designed originally for military use only. Now it is available to everyone but is still prescription only. If you find it OTC - it will most likely be a 'forgery' medication.

Chloroquine only becomes an issue if it is used over several months/years continuously. It is also one of the safer anti-malarials. The main issue with it is, many countries in SEA and Central/South America have developed Chloroquine resistant strains of the malaria parasite. There are no doxycycline-resistant strains at this time.

Larium (Mefloquine) is a sister drug to Chloroquine (both are quinine derivatives). It is well known for it's adverse side effects. These include hallucinations, vivid dreams and several other reactions. Like Malarone, it was developed for military use. The difference is that Larium has a long-term use study history and it's not worth subjecting one's body to the possible problems.

Personally, I've taken Chloroquine and had no side effect at all. But, Doxycycline will be my choice next time I decide I need an anti-malarial for my travels.

I do agree - always check with you doctor, pharmacist or travel health clinic about these types of issues as this is a travel-related website and not physicians. Enjoy your travels!

8. Posted by Four-4-2 (Budding Member 74 posts) 4y

Hmm I did look into Doxy but what put me off is that you have to take it for a month after. We will be in India for 2 weeks were we would need the tablets then Thailand for a month and a half then up North to Laos etc for another month. With Doxy it would basically mean taking it for 3 full months. With malarone you only take it for a few days after don't you so we wouldn't need to be taking anything in Thailand. Hmm really stumped what to do here :/

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

I started to reply to this a couple of days ago when Safari crashed in the middle of my response.

It's true Malarone only needs to be taken for 7 days once you have left a malarial area and Doxy is 3-4 weeks post departure. If you can afford the expense of Malarone, it may (though doubtful), even out with the cost of Doxy.

Please realize I am not trying to convince you of anything as this is your own personal decision, plays to your own comfort zone and your monetary situation. Having spent 20+ years in the medical field in my former working life, I pay attention to side effects before considering the cost and duration of treatment. Because I also take vitamins and a prescription med daily, adding the Doxy for an additional 3-4 weeks is not an issue for me. If you do not take something regularly (even just vitamins), then I totally understand your dilemma in this decision.

Most people become non-compliant with the use of Chlorquine and Mefloquine as they are taken once weekly. They tend to forget when they took the last tablet and either take one too soon or stop the treatment - usually the latter. If the person was not infected with the parasite, they are quite quick to state anti-malarials are not needed in certain areas. Not necessarily true and I know several who are on long-term treatment to kill off all those little 'buggers' through their various stages of infection.

If short-term use outweighs the expense, choose the Malarone. Seriously.

I remember back in the 60s & 70s when I chose hallucinogens for fun. Now, I don't want my travels interrupted by such effects along with bad dreams and severe headaches (which may or may not happen). But, I'd prefer to take along a stronger SPF sunscreen and 3-4 weeks more tablets. It's my personal choice.

As a side note, be sure to bring along a copy of your anti-malarial and any other med prescriptions in case your meds are lost or stolen. Also, carry a letter of heath with the list of meds written by your physician. It will help to get things refilled quickly. And, should you need medical attention for whatever reason, it helps doctors/hospitals in foreign countries know your current health status. I know it sounds like 'overkill' and I'm sure your travels will go without a hitch. I spent 2 days procuring a health letter from my doc while in Jamaica just to prove I was healthy enough to scuba dive at the age of 45. I now have a letter updated every 6 months just in case we get to travel and decided to dive.