S.A./Bots Aug '05- Malaria help

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Mar 8th, 2005, 03:05 PM
  #1
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S.A./Bots Aug '05- Malaria help

Hi everyone,
I need your help! My husband and I have the trip of a lifetime planned for Aug 05 to Kruger, Cape Town and Botswana. It was supposed to be our "last hurrah" before having a baby but now I've just found out that I will have to wait MONTHS after our return to get the Lariam (the only anti-malarial my doctors want me to use b/c it is safe for pregnant women) out of my system.

Has anyone had experience discussing this with their doctors? I know my doc is ultra-conservative but when it comes to pregnancy, I don't necessarily want to take any chances.

Do you think I could take the Malarone instead since it gets out of my system much more quickly even though it's not considered safe for pregnancy use? (I won't be pregnant on the trip, just eager to conceive when we return.)

Also, what about the risk that Malaria can live in your system for up to a year before any symptoms present themselves? What if I get pregnant and unknowingly have Malaria in my system? Is there a test I can take when I come back to make sure I didn't get it?

You can tell I'm freaking out a little bit and am going to discuss this further with my doctor, but I needed a sounding board. Let me know what you guys think.

Many, many thanks in advance.
malnyc is offline  
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Mar 8th, 2005, 03:39 PM
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I think you should consult a specialist in traveler's health. There is some information on the CDC website regarding malaria medication and people planning to become pregnant. This is a link to their malaria medication during pregnancy page - http://www.cdc.gov/travel/pregnant.htm#table_6_2 This includes a table with half lives for selected malarial medications. Again, I would highly recommend that you take the advice of either your doctor or a specialist.
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Mar 8th, 2005, 03:52 PM
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I was told to wait two months (or at least 2 "cycles")after taking Larium. I waited 3 months just to be sure. We got pregnant right away (which we weren't really expecting). Everything was fine.

I agree with the previous poster, ask a specialist (and pharmacist).
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Mar 8th, 2005, 03:54 PM
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Is the doctor you refer to your obgyn? That's who I'd go to for advice. One of my colleagues, in a similar situation, delayed trying to become pregnant for quite some time due having taken malaria medication.
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Mar 8th, 2005, 05:16 PM
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I have spoken with both my ob/gyn and my primary care physician with my ob giving me the most "conservative" estimates.

Travelwmn- your story gives me hope! I don't want to have to cancel my trip and 2-3 months sounds much more manageable than 5-6 months. Did you have any side effects with the lariam?
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Mar 8th, 2005, 07:40 PM
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It was my second time on Larium and I've never had any problems.

I got the advice of my obgyn, my pharmicist, and the travel doctor at the most well-known traveler's clinic in Washington, DC. They all gave me the same time frame which made it easy. It would have been a harder decision if they had disagreed.

Hope it all works out for you!
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Mar 9th, 2005, 05:54 AM
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travelwmn- Do you know why you were given Lariam instead of Malarone? If you weren't planning on conceiving until after you were off the drugs anyway, why not take malarone with the shorter half-life (just a couple weeks)?
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Mar 9th, 2005, 09:23 AM
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Malarone wasn't around when I went on my last safari in fall 1995. I'll be taking it on my trip next year, as will my son (he'll be 9 and the doctors said it was fine for him to take).

Wish I could be of more help.
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