Victoria falls, Botswana, Cape Town


Jul 20th, 2004, 03:24 PM
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Fair warning to all who opt to take Malerone. It is not freely available in South Africa as it is miles too expensive. The only place that I know of where one can obtain the tablets are at the British Airways heath desks and this comes at a steep price. So if you are going to take Malerone come well stocked from your overseas supplier.

Btw the mere fact that Malerone is not freely available in SA as well as the fact that many South Africans visit the various game parks in the country should tell you that locals dont take Malerone. It is my belief that most take Doxycyclin. I for one have visited many northern SA game parks and have always only taken Doxycyclin. I have a brother who is a specialist pulmonary physician who specialises in Malaria and he advocates that one should take Doxycyclin. All of the above makes one think does it not!

With all of the above said I do believe that one should consult with your own doctor and take his/her advice as he/she should know best for you personally

Just my little contribution to the conversation.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
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Jul 20th, 2004, 03:58 PM
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I read this article,00.html
about malaria. I've been to southern Africe twice (July/August both times) and had malaria medication with me but did not take it because there were no bugs. I won't be skipping it next time, even with no bugs..
sundowner is offline  
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Jul 21st, 2004, 12:29 AM
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Most antimalarials are not suitable for long term use and in most parts of the world (where malaria is prevalent) locals take nothing.

Doxycyclin CAN be taken long term but is definitely NOT as effective against the strains of malaria in South Africa as other choices.

Malarone is definitely expensive (we had to pay £2.40 per single tablet!!!) but it is (or was in April 2004) recommended against malaria for South Africa, it has fewer side effects in the majority of users than other options and it need only be taken for 2 days before entering the malarial area and one week upon leaving it. Other choices need to be commenced earlier and continued much longer.

I did a lot of research into antimalarials for our last trip in 2001 because malarone was not yet available and I react badly to both Larium and the Proguanil/Chloroquin combination. My doctor suggested Doxycyclin but did warn that it's not the prophylactic of choice for that region. However since I take Minocyclin he said I'd have to stop that drug as they are same family and one can't take both.

So I checked on the "cyclin" family. All have antimalarial properties just as all have the property for which I take the minocyclin, just some are better for one and some for another.

In the end I just stayed on minocylin and didn't bother with the rest.

But do take care to get advice from a doctor who is referring to an UP TO DATE list because it's all about which strain of malaria you're guarding against and which drug it has become most resistant to IN THE AREA you're visiting.
Kavey is offline  
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Jul 21st, 2004, 12:31 AM
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Malaria medication: (Disclaimer: I'm NOT a physician!)

This is a regular topic on the Lonely Planet Thorntree Africa branch. And there is a "sticky thread" on the Health Branch there that covers it. There is also a link on the Africa branch "sticky" to, which is information from the Medical Research Council, South Africa. On that page is a .pdf doc with lots of info. There is also a link on that site to a map of malaria areas in South Africa (the far NE part of the country).

As Selwyn says, Malarone is available at the BA clinics, or as they are also known, the SAA-Netcare or just Netcare Travel Clinics (see

The current cost of Mefloquine (local brand name Mefliam, known elsewhere as Larium) at the Netcare Clinics is R14.50 for the weekly tablet, Malarone is R50 for the daily tablet, and Doxycycline is R3.50 for the daily tablet. These prices include prescribing, as they are all prescription drugs and shouldn't be available at pharmacies (drug stores) without a local doctor's prescription. Although some travellers have reported success, even though this is against the law.

I thought that Mefloquine (Mefliam/Larium) was the most commonly prescribed, but that's a guess. It does have possible side effects reported by some users. Doxycycline has a possible side effect of skin sensitivity to the sun. (Full info on this and other contra-indications in that doc I referred to above.)
ArthurSA is offline  
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Jul 21st, 2004, 02:06 AM
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That sounds right - my doctor said the two best choices for South Africa are Malarone and Larium. But the recommendations for Botswana were different. They have a chart they look this up on and should be looking at a recent one - within 6 months at most.
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