Malaria tablets - side effects???

Travel Forums Asia Malaria tablets - side effects???

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1. Posted by charliebub (Budding Member 16 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!


I'm heading off to South East Asia in 7 weeks and after much deliberation have decided that I will take malaria tablets. I'm planning on taking Malarone - as I have heard that they have the least side effects and that some of the others can make you feel pretty rough - sick, dizzy and with bad dreams.

Has anyone taken Malarone??? I know that everyone is different and will react in differnt ways - but I'm just worried that taking the tablets might ruin my travels if I'm feeling sick all the time!!!

Any advice would be appreciated.


2. Posted by SKR (Full Member 47 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!


You beat me to it ! I was going to ask this same question, although I'd also appreciate any advice specific to China (Yunnan and Sichuan provinces mainly) as well as SE Asia.

I've been prescribed Mefloquine, which can apparently cause depression, anxiety, vivid dreams, panic attacks etc...and in a very very small number of cases these can last years after completing the course. That doesn't sound like my idea of fun !! So if anyone has any advice or suggestions then i'd be very grateful...


3. Posted by robertson (Full Member 53 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

I took Malarone all through my trip to SEA - North of Thailand (trekking), Cambodia... absolutely no side effects. It's definitely worth the extra money compared to some of the horror stories you hear about other medications.

However, I also know someone who took doxycycline and didn't have any noticeable side effects .... and this is the one that most people buy once in Asia b/c it's very cheap. (Example: in Bangkok it's 6-10 Baht per pill)

4. Posted by dpd (Full Member 138 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Do you need a repeat prescription to take with you, how easy is it to get Malarone as you go around?

5. Posted by toothache (Full Member 82 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

hi there.

I understand your concern coming over to South East Asia.

I'm not sure about Malarone, yet.

But I can tell you that almost every medication and drugs has its own side effects and contraindications. From Paracetomol, Prozac and all that.... Too much medication in the body may cause renal problems and liver problems in the long term.

Paracetamol, just buy those normal ones. Its a painkiller, fever medication. Buying those "extra", "menstrual", and "cold relief" is not need. It only contain just extra dosage of paracetemol. And plus, taking two tablet is too much for body's ability.

So if you have doubts over medications, try not to take them. You may never what drug allergies you may have.

However, there are always other alternatives and necessary
precautions you can take regarding health.

The best is you take the necessary jabs a month before departure.
Some jabs takes about one month to kick off in our body. those antibodies.. and all those human body stuff.. :)

I have some tips to help you with common ailments.

Bites and sting... calamine lotion... comes in handy...
apply a cold compress to ease pain and swelling.
Take note of pus formation, swelling, redness, increasing pain. Go to the doctor.

Another help I can give is getting a small bottle of Baxter Sodium Chloride 0.9% (for irrigation).Sold in pharmacies... And a small sterile pack of cotton wool.

Simple pour some of the NaCl into the pack. This can be use to clean wounds if you are particular about water conditions. And of course, cover open wounds with a good plaster.

And yes.. wash your hands.. :) Lotsa H20!

Hope this helps... ;)

6. Posted by mjpotts (Budding Member 2 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

I took malarone both while i was in india and central america. THe only side effect that i experienced was slight dizziness off and on the first couple days. After that i didnt have any side effects. Some of the people that we were with in india were taking doxecyclin and they sunburned much easier than the rest of us.

7. Posted by robertson (Full Member 53 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

You won't be able to find malarone to buy in SEA. But you will be able to take it with you - in my experience prescriptions are never actually checked by customs authorities. If you want to buy anything there, it will have to be doxy.

On the plus side, doxy is also an antibiotic and can help your resistance against possible traveller's sickness or typhus (but yes, it also makes you more sensitive to the sun.) In Asia, you should be wearing a hat and sunscreen anyhow! I'm taking doxy with me to Burma b/c I didn't get any Malarone at home before leaving... and I'm not worried.

8. Posted by amistarr (Budding Member 2 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Another anti-malaria to take is Doxycyline(which is the cheapest one). You have to take it everyday, which can get a bit tedious, but havent had any trouble with them. 2 others im travelling with are both taking mefloquine and for about 2 days after taken it they're a bit ill. You can also buy doxycline in SEA. Don't need anti-malarials in Thailand anymore tho because it's just been declared Malaria Free. Woo Hoo!

9. Posted by rbisset (Budding Member 26 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Thailand is malaria free? surely there must be some regions that it is still around?

10. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

I remember when I was in Australia, about to embark for my adventure in Papua New Guinea. I sat down at a cafe, ordered a coke and opened my anti-malaria medication. Read through the side effects and was a little concerned when I got to the part that mentioned: "coma, and DEATH!!!".

We were discussing what to do when the person I was with popped hers in her mouth and swallowed it. So I did the same and luckily lived happily-ever-after. That med. was Fansadar (one of the more powerful ones).

I usually take anti-malaria med., but the best prevention is to cover up at dawn and dusk & use plenty of insect repellant. In PNG I worn long pants and long sleeve shirts at dawn and dust even though it was very hot.