malaria medication


Jun 14th, 2005, 05:59 PM
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malaria medication

Last time we went to Africa we tool larium and neither of us had side effects. This time, should we stick to that or should we take malarone? Is all the controversy just if people have a reaction to larium or is there something else we should consider?
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Jun 14th, 2005, 06:45 PM
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I would do malarone if possible
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Jun 14th, 2005, 06:52 PM
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Here is a comment the doctor at my international travel clinic made to me about Larium. He said while some of the newer malaria drugs have fewer side effects, all drugs can have some side effects. If you know Larium does not effect you negatively, you may want to stick with it rather than try a new drug that could possibly produce negative side effects for you.

To be sure, check with your own doctor.

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Jun 15th, 2005, 07:06 AM
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I've done Malarone Ghana in Dec 2003/Jan 2004 and Dec 2004/Jan 2005. I refuse to take Larium. There are those who have taken it without my best friend...but I'm not taking a chance with it. There's still too much talk on it and the bad side affects that people have experienced. I met a young woman in the airport in Southeast Asia who ended up with permanent liver damage from it and she wasn't on it all that long. I'm quite aware that there is always a chance of someone reacting very badly to any type of drug/medicatin...however there's just to much stuff I hear about Larium to personally ingest it! Happy Travels!
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Jun 15th, 2005, 11:36 AM
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My wife is a pharmacist. There is no way she will let either of us take Larium. She's seen too many bad side effects. She has said Malarone might be acceptable, but on our recent trip to Tanzania we just took doxycyclene. The CDC now lists that above Larium:

One disadvantage is that you need to take it daily.

But, bottom line is you don't want malaria, so whatever makes you comfortable.
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Jun 15th, 2005, 11:43 AM
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I've taken Lariam (on 3-trips to malaria countries) and had no effects other then restless sleep - which I now believe was the coffee I drank with dinner. No more coffee for me after 3pm. But in all instances my travel partner/s had weird dreams.

However, once Malarone came on the market, I've used it (on 3 trips to malaria countries) with absolutely no anything... could be a vitamin for all my bod knows.

Surprisingly, on our recent trip to East Africa, we met a group of Americans (from North Carolina) who had actually been prescribed Lariam by their medical professional with no mention of Malarone. Some in the group were having problems with the Lariam. Everyone at the table was aghast. Seems not everyone, even professionals are up on the latest meds.

My feeling about Lariam, though not a medical professional, but from lots of reading of case studies - it's terribly toxic and there are too many possible negatives to taking this controversal pill. I'd suggest, that if you have the choice go with the one of less toxity - Malarone.

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Jun 15th, 2005, 12:00 PM
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If you had no side effects, I would stick to Lariam. My friend took Malarone recently and had to stop because all of a sudden he got an agressive form of eczema.
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Jun 15th, 2005, 12:33 PM
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Like sandi's friends, I've had wierd dreams on Larium and would not take it after using Malarone. I have had zero side effects with Malarone.

Different health plans have different lists of drugs they will cover. I would (and have) paid for Malarone out of my own pocket before I'd take free Larium. But, we're all different.
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Jun 15th, 2005, 01:54 PM
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Two things you might want to consider. Africans working in the camps and lodge have told me of many people that had to be sent to hospital due to severe reactions to Lariam. It isn't worth jeopardizing your trip if you don't have to.

In reading a book about the man-eaters of Tsavo Philip Caputo, the author, stated that he had taken Lariam on many occasions without any bad side effects. Then on the last trip he awoke during the night wanting to kill his sleeping wife though he loved her dearly. Luckily he realized his thinking was way out of line and due to the Lariam. He had to leave the tent to prevent himself from doing something horrible.

With any medication, one can never tell what reaction, if any, you might have. Therefore it would seem it wise to take the one with the least reported side effects. Malarone is super for most people. Doxycycline is good, but I have had a severe sun reaction to that one.

Given the choice, I too would take the Malarone.

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Jun 15th, 2005, 01:57 PM
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I also had stranged dreams when i took lariam, but i kind of enjoyed them and missed them when i returned home after six months!
I'd just stick to what you know and take lariam again, and you never know - you could be lucky enough to get the dreams this time!!
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Jun 15th, 2005, 04:41 PM
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Wow! Thanks everyone for your responses. I will show them to my husband when he gets home and see what he wants to do.
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Jun 15th, 2005, 05:10 PM
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I took (and have to take 3 more) Larium for my recent trip to Tanzania. I have to admit I was a bit skeptical when I heard that you get strange dreams when this medication is taken. Me and my wife have experienced several strange dreams. The latest side effect I have is -- feeling Nauseous at times. Not a good feeling.
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Jun 16th, 2005, 08:31 AM
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Let us know what you decide. Thanks for the question that generated some informative responses.
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Jun 16th, 2005, 12:17 PM
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Have been taking Larium for 16 years and have never had a reaction greater than restless sleep, and only on the nights I took it. Considering the potential side effects of the other drugs, I will not switch unless Larium is no longer available.
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Jun 16th, 2005, 12:23 PM
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My experience taking Larium once a year for 12 years has been absolutely zero side effects. No weird dreams, no restless sleep, nothing.

But its reputation sure is sketchy.
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Aug 6th, 2005, 08:19 PM
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been doing a lot of anti-malarial research also and the ones about Lariam are quite alarming to me.

As is expressed here, i know it's probably a small percentage overall that is severely affected but still makes you pause. Since i have never taken any anti-malarial pills, i can't comment, but since you had no reaction to Lariam, it sounds like you are part of the percentage that didn't have severe reactions. Ask your doctor if that is medically significant.

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Aug 7th, 2005, 01:33 AM
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I didn't realise there was any controversy about Larium, I'm taking it at the moment and took it the last time I went to Africa too. I haven't/didn't have any problems (I often have odd dreams though so maybe wouldn't notice that side effect!). Definitely discuss it with your doctor.
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Aug 7th, 2005, 08:44 AM
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I'm using Lariam for over a decade and can live with the small side effects on the day I take it (about one hour of restlessness, like drinking to much coffee). Why should I make my body a testing ground for a new drug with unknown side effects? That doesn't sound healthier for me, and sorry, that doesn't make sense to me at all. If you can live with Lariam, you should stay with it.

Do you ever have considered to take those pills at all? If I'm traveling in known areas where I estimate the risk as 'low' (for instance, savannah parks in East Africa during the dry season) I don't take the drug, I only have it with me as stand-by medication for a case of emergency. This procedure is recommended by WHO, and I regard this the most healthiest way for my body.

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Aug 7th, 2005, 09:59 AM
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Mitch talks sense...though I have some reservations about his low-risk policy and would never go that way. My experience in malarial countries goes back 40 years: I've seen somebody who thought the risk was low, and it wasn't pretty.

I'm also a 10-year Lariam veteran and have never had side effects. But I don't recommend that people take it or any other anti-malarial just because I say it's OK. See a doctor. Every individual has different medical needs and health is too important for risk-taking. If 'your' doctor is hopeless and you don't trust him/her to give you the right advice, why is he/she still your doctor? Besides, doctors at specialised travel clinics are easy enough to find if you think your GP is inexperienced in such matters.
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Aug 7th, 2005, 10:40 AM
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We took Malarone on our last trip to Botswana/Zambia and 24hrs after our first dose, my husband got very ill. After talking to our travel med. Dr. upon returning, he was very doubtful that it was the medication but we'll never know. We did a lot of hand-shaking with people upon arriving and my husband was always the first to shake hands so we're thinking maybe he caught something that way. He stopped taking the malarone immediately and ended up being flown to a Dr. in Maun for more injections/antibiotics and luckily, recovered quickly after that. It sure wasn't a great way to get started on the safari but we had a wonderful time anyway.
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