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Can I use deet instead of Malaria Meds (Malarone)?

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Jul 5th, 2011, 05:18 AM
  #1
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Can I use deet instead of Malaria Meds (Malarone)?

Im heading off to Tanzania tomorrow. Planning to go to Kilimanjaro (8 days) and Serengeti (7 days)..then in towns for a random 7 days.

I went to the travel clinic and got a script for Malarone..then it dawned on my today that this is the same Malaria meds I took in India that I had serious side effects from (terrible mood swings, crazy almost psychotic like behaviour, nightmares, severe inflammation of the joints so bad I couldnt walk and ended up in bed).

Im wondering if I can get away with just DEET instead.?

Your thoughts are appreciated!
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Jul 5th, 2011, 05:27 AM
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Those side effects sound more like Larium (mefloquine) to me. Are you sure it's the same? Do you remember if you took it daily or weekly?
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Jul 5th, 2011, 05:29 AM
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I took it daily.
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Jul 5th, 2011, 05:40 AM
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OK, probably malarone then.

Your side effects do sound bad though. I would try and get back to the doctor before you leave.

I imagine your Kilimanjaro trek will be low risk- too high for mossies, but the bit in towns is a bit more of a concern. Lots of people means lots of potential carriers for mossies to bite before they get you.

Your other options are larium and doxycycline but since you have to take larium 1 week in advance it's a bit late for that now. You could get some doxycycline if you can see a doctor before you leave, or buy it when you get there. You only have to take it one day before being in the malarial area, you take it daily and you need to take it at the same time every day. It can make you extra sensitive to the sun so be careful.
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Jul 5th, 2011, 06:07 AM
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Good advice from stokeygirl.

My wife is a pharmacist and has us stay away from the malaria meds in most cases, due to possible side effects. On our 5-week Kili/Safari/Zanzibar trip a few years ago she had do the doxycycline, deet, and mosquito avoidance routine.

She also soaked our external clothing we wore around camps in the evenings in Permethrin. As I understand it the Anopheles mosquitoes who transmit the disease come out in the evening.
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Jul 5th, 2011, 08:45 AM
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if taking doxycycline - you should avoid being exposed to sun radiation
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Jul 5th, 2011, 08:51 AM
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If taking doxy, an all-purpose antibiotic though not specific for Malaria (as Lariam or Malarone would be); rather substitute for those who can't take the others. But, in addition to the protocol mentioned above, as a daily pill... also has to be taken for 28/days after leaving the infected area.

Each has their pros/cons.
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Jul 5th, 2011, 09:19 AM
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Doxy is a tried and true...one of first meds used for malaria. In some areas in the States you can get free antibiotics (if cost is an issue.) On our recent trip to Kenya we used Doxy but also took Deet.
We have more mosquitos at my house than we saw in all of Kenya!
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Jul 5th, 2011, 09:22 AM
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In addition the photo sensitivity (sun) was not really an issue since we wore hats and long sleeves as added protection against the mosquitos.
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Jul 5th, 2011, 10:42 AM
  #10
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I have been runnig around fir 2 hours trying to find a walk in I can get into...do you know if I can get doxy in tanzania for certain?
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Jul 5th, 2011, 11:17 AM
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I do not know from exeperience or expertise, but this is the site for the USA. It is the center for disease control. They have a table of countries and whether they are risks for malaria and what if any of the drugs are resistant or not.
Good luck. Have a safe and fun trip.
http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/travelers...y_table/s.html
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Jul 5th, 2011, 11:19 AM
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I use doxycycline, recommended by my Dr. No problems using it (also had no problems with Malarone). True you take doxy longer but it is cheap $$$. One reason I like to take it is because of its benefit for protection against other infections. Quoting from a web site -

"Doxycycline is used to treat bacterial infections, including pneumonia and other respiratory tract infections; Lyme disease; acne; infections of skin, genital, and urinary systems; and anthrax (after inhalational exposure). It is also used to prevent malaria. Doxycycline is in a class of medications called tetracycline antibiotics. It works by preventing the growth and spread of bacteria. Antibiotics will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections."

regards - tom
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Jul 5th, 2011, 07:58 PM
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Don't mean to hijack, but where is the least expensive place to get Malarone if not covered by insurance?

I searched through the old threads, Costco was recommended and is charging $7.43/pill. Any other suggestions?
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Jul 5th, 2011, 08:01 PM
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...and to answer the OP's question; I use DEET pretty consistently and still manage to get bitten a fair amount in most tropical locations, even at higher elevations. I wouldn't rely on it as my sole form of protection.
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Jul 5th, 2011, 10:46 PM
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I took malarone with no real side effects other than slightly more vivid dreams than normal. Bought it @ Costco but no matter where you go it's pricey.

I continually prayed it worked cause I was eaten alive wherever I went...those mosies seem to really like Canadian blood!!
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Jul 6th, 2011, 02:48 AM
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The sun sensitivity thing seems to strike some people and not others. I've always avoided doxy as I have very sun sensitive skin anyway and don't want to make matters worse. However, I had to take it last year in SA as a treatment for tick bite fever and I didn't really notice any difference. On the other hand, I met a guy in Kruger who had been out to Mozambique and he was seriously sunburnt- and not through lack of care, as I saw the amount of high factor sunscreen he was piling on.

In answer to the OP's question- I am pretty certain you can buy doxy in Tanzania. However, ask for recommendations for a reputable pharmacist and check the expiry dates- apparently there are a lot of fake or expired drugs on sale in Africa.
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Jul 6th, 2011, 03:19 AM
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http://www.mdtravelhealth.com/destin...a/tanzania.php

Doxy for me get #270 of the 100 mg packs easily

on the the generic special at Wal Mart $12 works great

Reputable clinics in country on link above have it also

Careful fake malaria meds fo abound over there...
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Jul 6th, 2011, 02:46 PM
  #18
 
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If you have absolutely no insurance, then yes, Malarone is expensive. Have never had any side-effects and prefer a daily tab which I take with other daily meds; rather than remembering "every Friday" (or whatever day) each week to down the Lariam, which again... no side-effects.

If you have insurance, many charge a very competitive price. Believe last visit when I went with Malarone cost $35 for 23/tabs ($1.52/tab). Last year, for a much longer trip, with different insurance coverage, I was quoted $65 for 30/tabs($2.33/tab)... still a darn good deal. However, I went with generic Lariam, 7/tabs at $15 ($2.14/tab) and managed to remember this was weekly. Shop and compare.

Have never used doxy.

I sure wouldn't depend on repellent only, even if proper attire from dusk-to-dawn. While I've encountered few mossies and never bitten while out on safari, the two bites I did get over the years were in Nairobi, which at 5,000' should be safe from these. Thankfully, none were malaria carrying little buggers. They never itched and I don't scratch... because I'm a big girl!

Take the malaria meds, whichever you choose, use repellent and be properly dressed during mossie biting time.

You want to bring home memories not malaria!
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