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Laurel Aug 23rd, 2004 04:53 PM

Antimalarial drugs
Are antimalarial drugs necessary (recommended) for Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangkok and Singapore? We will be leaving on our trip in mid November. Thanks in advance for upir advice.

Kathie Aug 23rd, 2004 05:13 PM

First, go to and read about malaria and anti-malarials. Check carefully for the places you are going. Cambodia is a malarial risk area, most of Thailand is not, Singapore is not, and parts of VN are. Then go consult with a travel medicine physician. Make sure you've done your research first; make sure you go to a doctor who has expertise in this area. While you're at it, take a look at what vaccines are recommended for your destinations.

emtravel Aug 23rd, 2004 06:21 PM

we went to dr. specializing on travel medicine for our Oct trip and he prescribed Malarone (we will be in Bangkok and Chiang Mai). He said prior drugs had side effects and malarone is the drug which does not. He told us to take it as a precaution 2 days before arrival and continue through the trip and I think 2 days after.

CFW Aug 23rd, 2004 06:34 PM

From everything I have read on the CDC web and others, anti-malarial drugs, including Malarone, are not necessary (and not recommended) for Bangkok or Chiang Mai, but of course you should consult with a physician familiar with travel in these areas. However, I have also read that Dengue fever, for which there is no preventative medicine, is transmitted by mosquitoes in Chiang Mai and other areas of Thailand, and that the best preventative is deet and keeping covered at dawn and dusk.

rhkkmk Aug 23rd, 2004 07:03 PM

your doctor would know best about you and the drugs, but i hope you have consulted a specialist in travel....a regular doctor is just doctors know the scoop on each place...

i have never taken any anti-malaria drug for thailand, only for cambodia...some say you might want it for extreme northern thailand, but not chiang mai...

we had no side affects from malerone...i think you take it before you go to the area affected and one week after you leave there and of course all the time you are is very expensive...i hope your helath plan covers it...

some people have had huge side affects from these drugs, but not usually malerone althogh i think there is a warning in the literature...

hope you have had hep A&B too and a tetnus booster...heps are a series of shots as i remember

Kathie Aug 23rd, 2004 07:08 PM

Anti-malarials are not recommended for Bangkok and Chaing Mai. They are recommended for border areas, such as the Golden Triangle. While malarone is the newest anti-malarial and has the fewest side effects, it's not necessarily the best anti-malarial for everyone. The cdc website also has the instructions for taking malarone. You start one or two days before entering the malarial risk area and continue for one full week after leaving the malarial risk area.

Bob, the anti-malarial drug that has warnings on it is larium, though many people take it with no problems.

Please do check with a travel medicine specialist. I worry when I hear some of the things people have been told by their family docs!

rhkkmk Aug 23rd, 2004 08:28 PM

kathie...we did read some warnings on the malerone literature as well...we had no side affects whatsoever....

emtravel Aug 24th, 2004 04:38 AM

We did go to travel specialist dr. (was recommended by our family physician since physician said they do not specialize on travel med).

Re: malarone,
It might be extra precaution but he suggested malarone even without going to border areas.
However, I forgot to mention that dr said in now way it replaces deet, we should use it as well.

The travel doctor would also examine your health condition and current medication you are taking beacuse sometimes meds might not work or cause side effect with your medication. In any case, malarone cannot be bought without dr's prescription.

I guess we need deet in the evening only? We also will be going on cruise to Authhaya so we will be on the river, so there will be mosquitoes as well. Do not want to take chances.

There is also new travel clothes made from mosquitto repellant fabric, it is sold in and
under trademark buzz-off. I am still considering it. My husband against it.
And, rhkkmk called it gross! :-)

sandi Aug 24th, 2004 05:54 AM

The side effects from Malarone might occur if people don't take this with food, therefore, tossing it up. So it is highly recommended to take with food; we found with breakfast that offered dairy (milk, yougurt, cottage cheese) were perfect and we had no problems.

Yes, Malaria mossie biting time is between dusk and dawn,when you should apply insect repellent with deet on exposed skin. It is also recommended to wear long pants, arms covered, and socks - otherwise, the repellent goes on exposed areas. But do remember to wash this off before retiring for bed. Many hotels have coils or spray that you can use in your room before retiring for bed.

There isn't much you can do about Dengue, which bite during the daytime, so repellent is also suggested when outdoors during that time.

But you should consults with a doctor of travel medicine (tropical diseases) and provide your current health and meds taken so this person can make the correct recommendation for you.

Walter_Walltotti Aug 24th, 2004 10:44 AM

My understanding is Larium is a trade name for Mefloquine.

Personal medication issues are best dealt with via a specialist travel health centre and if necessary in consulation with your own doctor.

You can get Malaria virtually anywhere these days. Someone who lived a mile from Heathrow, who had never been abroad, died a couple of years back after a bite from stray mosquito. Risk varies with season and can be very location specific. i.e. A tourist resort on a holiday island may be Malaria free, but the village encampment 5 miles away may not.

The humble mosquito is responsible for killing more people in history than War, Famine or Disease.

rhkkmk Aug 24th, 2004 10:47 AM

i think this may be blown out of proportion a bit....mosquitos are not a problem around the river...maybe if you are by a place where the water just sits, but the river is so fast moving that not much life can exist for breeding purposes...

i can't think that anyplace within 100 miles of bangkok would there be a problem....taking it as a precaution can't hurt of course if it makes you feel safer, but honestly i do not think it is necessary...

by the way, you do not need prescriptions for drugs in can just buy them at the, they may not have malerone, or other drugs that you want, but most everything is available just for the asking...

i would think the hep a and b are much more important for you to have had and all of the other boosters which we commonly have here in usa and europe...

i find it too hot to eat outside most of the time in bangkok so that is another form of deet...staying inside...

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