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1. Posted by cat.n. (Budding Member 32 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hello again my little travel bugs! I wanted so advice on what other people have taken for malaria. I can't take MALARONE because it is't lisenced to be perscribed for longer than 28 days so i have two choices- DOXYCYCLINE or MEFLOQUINE. I need it for when i'm travelling through venezuela and the north east brazil (stop taking it around Jericoacoara) and through the south of Ecuador. I know every body is different when it comes to taking tablets, but i'm not a reaction prone person. so is there anyone else who took either of these with no prob, OR is there someone, like me, who is not a reaction prone person who took these and was quite unfortunate?! I am a nurse, and have reaserched it to it quite a bit, i just wanted to ask some people who have some more experience. Thankyou, Sorry to rabbit on! xx

2. Posted by marlis (Travel Guru 1167 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

you dont need Malaria Tablets for Venezuela or Ecuador.
For Brazil I dont know.
I took my last Malaria Pills 19 years ago and I travel every year 2-3 times in South America,spending time at the Amazon Aerea in Ecuador,Venezuela,Peru.
Talking many times about Malaria with competent people,always got the same results.
Dont take some Malaria pills,because you never know exactly what type of Malaria you could get,and if you get sick it will be very hard to give you a proper treatment because you took some medizin.
use a good insect repellent,cover your body,sleep under a moskito net.
you are maybe more in danger to get the Dengue Fever then Malaria in this countrys.

3. Posted by cat.n. (Budding Member 32 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Ciudad bolivar and San Carlos do Rio Negro in Venezuela are high malaria risk, as is the south of Ecuador according to . i know that taking them is optional, but i am going to opt to take them. i have also bought strong insect repelent for extra back up! x

4. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Don't take other forum members' advice on malaria precautions; no offense intended to anyone, but better get your information from somewhere reliable (which isn't other travellers, exceptions notwithstanding).

The US centre for disease control is one such address; your local farmacy/gp should be able to give you others.

[ Edit: Edited on Jun 21, 2007, at 2:20 AM by bentivogli ]

5. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi Cat!

I agree with Niels that this is an issue for you to discuss with your doctor, but I can give you a bit of direction...

First, check the TP Wiki Travel Health - Malaria page. All the information is referenced and those references (click a number within the text or a listing at the bottom of the page) will take you directly to the corresponding pages for the CDC, WHO and Mayo Clinic sites.

Personally, I would use Doxycycline. Mefloquine (Larium) has more side effects including anxiety, vivid dreams, depression and possible neuro-psychological problems (hallucinations). Though the cause has not yet been defined, women experience the severe side effects more often than men. Granted, many people do use Mefloquine without incidence but I'm not sure I would want to test the theory while traveling. Information about the use of Mefloquine and oral contraceptives concurrently is sketchy at best and of little informative value at the moment.

Doxycycline has been proven to be very effective and has a limited amount of side effects. It is effective in areas of Chloroquine-resistant malaria. It is also effective in areas where Chloroquine is the recommended prophylaxis. There are no Doxycycline-resistant strains of malaria. Though it is an antibiotic, the dosage used for prophylaxis is very low and it will not interfere with other antibiotic treatment should you require such (hopefully not). Longterm use is well-documented where Larium's longterm information is based specifically on it's use for military personnel, not recreational travelers. Do not take Doxy right before bedtime as it can cause reflux back into the esophagus (heartburn).

If you are using oral contraceptives, Doxycycline has been shown to reduce the effectiveness of the OCs short term. The use of condoms is recommended for approximately 3 weeks. The reduction in effectiveness is not 100% (inactivation) but it be can reduced down to 75-80% initially.

Again, speak with your physician. Being a nurse, I don't think you will have any problem interpreting the information through the CDC, WHO and Mayo. Hope this helps!

Enjoy your adventure! ;)