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Thread: Malaria meds

  1. #1
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    Default Malaria meds

    Aloha, We are traveling July 11-24 to Botswana and Zimbabwe. Our areas cover Makgadikgadi pans, Moremi, Kwai, Savuti, Chobe, and Vic Falls. After reading the thread re being pregnant and possible exposure I found some great info. This year could possibly be worse than previous years because of rainfall and standing water.

    I have been twice to Botswana in July and not used malaria meds (malarone). Mosquitos tend to gravitate to me but I did not have even one bite. We were lucky. Is there a malaria drug that can be taken when/if you find yourself in an infested area or do they all need to be taken ahead of time? I am traveling with some young adults who have not been to Africa before and I don't want to overly worry them but do want them to prepare for malaria if needed. Asking a local physician is o.k. but most will just prescribe without knowledge of need.

    Because of the knowledge shown on the other thread I am hoping for a bit of advice from the area. I'm trying to cross all t's and dot all i's and thank you for any help. Cherie

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    Default Re: Malaria meds

    Maybe you could have continued the discussion under the same Thread you mentioned, to avoid double advising. Just my thought.

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    Default Re: Malaria meds

    I debated rather to continue on the previous thread. But because of the contention exhibited towards posters with medical knowledge I thought I would start a new thread. I may have made the wrong decision but I just didn't want to continue the animosity. Cherie
    Last edited by cccole; 2021/05/31 at 01:50 AM.

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    Default Re: Malaria meds

    Taking malaria meds requires a prescription which your GP should do.

    However individuals taking the prescribed meds can react differently to the medication.

    Last year my wife had a terrible reaction to such medication and required medical intervention.

    We decided afterwards never to repeat this encounter and rather take our chances without malria meds.

    Burning citronella candles, rubbing vicks all over and wearing light clothes in the evening all helps to deter the little buggers!!

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    Default Re: Malaria meds

    No prescription required for malaria meds any more. If you were comfortable with Malanil stick with it, or use one of the generics like Mozzitec (sp?).

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    Default Re: Malaria meds

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirkba View Post
    Taking malaria meds requires a prescription which your GP should do.

    However individuals taking the prescribed meds can react differently to the medication.

    Last year my wife had a terrible reaction to such medication and required medical intervention.

    We decided afterwards never to repeat this encounter and rather take our chances without malria meds.

    Burning citronella candles, rubbing vicks all over and wearing light clothes in the evening all helps to deter the little buggers!!
    I find citronella does sweet blow all for mosquitoes

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  11. #7
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    Default Re: Malaria meds

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishing1 View Post
    I find citronella does sweet blow all for mosquitoes
    Get some Tabard or Peaceful Sleep!

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    Default Re: Malaria meds

    I believe there are two mainstreams of anti-malarials - those which are mefloquine-based (ie: Lariam etc) and those which are ataovaquone-based (malanil, mozitec etc).

    The mefloquine-based anti-malarials are normally cheaper, but have some fairly serious side-effects - especially if you are border-line crazy like I am... I used Lariam once, and I will never touch it again...

    I prefer the ataovaquone-based drugs, which are generally a little more expensive.

    I'd suggest, however, having a discussion with your travel doctor first. Firstly, they will advise you to ignore the comments like "taking your chances without the anti-malarials" as well as provide you with proper advice in terms of what works and how it should be taken. For example: I believe that, even though the ataovaquone-based drugs are less prone to have side effects, they are contra-indicated for pregnant women.
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    Default Re: Malaria meds

    Quote Originally Posted by iandvl View Post
    I believe there are two mainstreams of anti-malarials - those which are mefloquine-based (ie: Lariam etc)
    Larium is no more. Hubby cannot take Malanil or it's generics. All pharmacists I spoke to in December before Kruger said it has been off the market for about 2 years. Larium was the only prophylaxis he could take.

    He ended up on Doxycycline. No side effects for him, but you need to take it for quite a long time afterwards. I think a month. Doxy can have nasty side effects for some and one has increased sensitivity to sunlight, i.e sunburn.
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2021/05/31 at 11:24 AM.
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    Default Re: Malaria meds

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    Larium is no more. Hubby cannot take Malanil or it's generics. All pharmacists I spoke to in December before Kruger said it has been of the market for about 2 years. Larium was the only prohylaxis he could take.

    He ended up on Doxycycline. No side effects, but you need to take it for quite a long time afterwards. I think a month. But Doxy can have nasty side effects for some.
    Thanks, Christa, I did not know Larium was off the market. However, this is probably understandable since the last (and only) time I took Larium was probably when I did a project in Zambia back in 2008... It was not a pleasant experience. There is a reason I've always referred to them as those "crazy-pills" since then....

    A quick google on this subject yielded this: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-33943282.

    A call has been made for an immediate ban on a controversial anti-malaria drug given to British soldiers. The side-effects of mefloquine, or Lariam, have been linked to severe depression and other mental illnesses


    Great - it is about Mud-Island's military not using Lariam anymore, but glad to see it is not just me... Those who know me will now understand a lot more about why I am like I am...

    This is the first time I've heard of Doxycycline. Has it been around for a while ?
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    Default Re: Malaria meds

    Considering the duration of your stay and the time of year (Smack bang in the middle of winter) I wouldn't take medication but precautions to prevent bites.
    Just keep monitoring yourselves for symptoms. That's my opinion and not medical advise.
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    Default Re: Malaria meds

    Quote Originally Posted by iandvl View Post
    ..This is the first time I've heard of Doxycycline. Has it been around for a while ?
    Yes, Doxy has been around for ages. It is actually a weak antibiotic, IIRC something like 100 mg per tablet, used to treat an array of ailments. Turns out it is good at killing the malaria causing parasite in the blood as well.

    It seems Larium/Mefliam is still manufactured, but not sold in the USA and not imported in SA anymore. One might still find it somewhere in Africa.

    Hubby and I took Mefliam for our Zambia trip, my son took Malanil because he was still very young. Hubby gets a bit moody on Mefliam, but not on Larium. Odd but true.
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2021/05/31 at 11:45 AM.
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  21. #13
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    Default Re: Malaria meds

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    Hubby and I took Mefliam for our Zambia trip, my son took Malanil because he was still very young. Hubby gets a bit moody on Mefliam, but not on Larium. Odd but true.
    You were lucky with the side-effects although obviously, not everybody gets them...

    I gradually went off my face on Larium. The first bit was fine. Towards the end of the first week, I was paranoid and borderline psychotic. By the time I came home, my ex-wife would need to lure me out from under the furniture in the mornings with a warm blanket and a few cookie crumbs...
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    Default Re: Malaria meds

    Quote Originally Posted by iandvl View Post
    ....I gradually went off my face on Larium. The first bit was fine. Towards the end of the first week,
    I have heard stories like yours. Guess we were lucky, but hubby's luck is now out. He cannot touch malanil and it even has slight side effects on me with extended use. Very frustrating to need to use Doxy for 4 or 6 weeks after 7 days in malaria area. At least it is very cheap.
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  25. #15
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    Default Malaria meds

    Here we are again ha ha (see previous malaria thread)…

    PS. Doxycycline is great for adults and 15yrs+. Covers everything, including acne! But not recommended long term for kids as it damages their teeth.
    Last edited by dangermouse; 2021/05/31 at 12:52 PM.
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    Default Re: Malaria meds

    Quote Originally Posted by cccole View Post
    I debated rather to continue on the previous thread. But because of the contention exhibited towards posters with medical knowledge I thought I would start a new thread. I may have made the wrong decision but I just didn't want to continue the animosity. Cherie
    You misunderstood - it’s not animosity - it’s simply a different opinion.
    And I can tell you yourself are gravitating to that opinion too… because you never had a problem with mossies on a previous trip neither!
    Short-term trip? Worried? Doxycycline is great
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    Default Re: Malaria meds

    Talk to your GP or a travel savvy one, work out which malaria prophylactic is the one for you, maybe even try it beforehand to make sure it does not give you unwanted side effects, then TAKE it exactly as the prescription says!

    The ONLY exception should be if your GP tells you NOT to take anything for VERY good medical reasons. Then go enjoy your trip!

    Why do I say this?

    In a "life before" I was involved in casevac work, of among others, patients with severe malaria, and I can tell you that as an occasional visitor to a malaria area, you do NOT want to just "take your chances" with malaria, especially with the cerebral kind. The possible outcome if you are unlucky, is just too severe to justify the very small inconvenience and cost of taking whatever meds is the right one for you.

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  29. #18
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    Default Re: Malaria meds

    Quote Originally Posted by RobH View Post
    No prescription required for malaria meds any more. If you were comfortable with Malanil stick with it, or use one of the generics like Mozzitec (sp?).
    1000 % in agreement >> Rule No 1 = Dont get bitten . Rule No 2 = Take proper Meds in any Malarial area

  30. #19
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    Default Re: Malaria meds

    Disclaimer: I am not a doctor.
    We use Mozitec, which is the Malanil generic. First tablet a day or two before entering malarial area, daily tablet while there, and continue for seven days after leaving. Available without prescription, and we have never had any side effects, compared to the nasty side effects of the (now-discontinued) Lariam, and doxycycline (sun sensitivity, plus it is an antibiotic). We carry full strength doxy in our medical kit for other ailments, like respiratory and urinary infections).
    Please assiduously ignore all those posters above who advise you not to take prophylaxis - that's rubbish. Northern Botswana is a high-risk malaria area all year round.
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  32. #20
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    Default Re: Malaria meds

    Always a debate.

    I took prophylaxis for 4 decades, off and on - from Paludrine in SE Asia many years ago, through all of the others, including Lariam (for two years in the Congo (didn;t affect me at all...at all...at all...!)). Since living and travelling in South America I've changed my view. Here the advice is not to take prophylaxis - just take precautions (long sleeves, repellent, mosquito netting impregnated with repellent etc.) and if infected respond with treatment. Now this is aimed at people living in Malarial areas - partly to avoid a situation where you're taking the pills for decades. It's also perhaps because there's no prophylaxis for Zika or Chikungunya, so it's a good idea to encourage avoidance of bites rather than an assumption of protection.

    I guess my view would be that for a short trip (a month or two) it's a good idea to take whatever the CDC recommends, but for long stays (years) it's better not to.

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