Malaria Pills for Burma?


Dec 2nd, 2003, 07:08 PM
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Malaria Pills for Burma?

Has anyone taken Malaria pills when visiting Burma? If so, what kind? We've taken Lariam before, but don't like it, and would rather not have to take anything, if possible. We're going from Jan. 23 to Feb. 8, which should be dry season and maybe not so mosquito ridden.
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Dec 2nd, 2003, 08:05 PM
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Start by reading about malaria and your anti-malarial options at a reliable health websites like or

Remember that the way malarial maps are drawn is from data reported by the country's government. Given the state of Burma's government, we should assume that the least reliable information on malaria incidence and prevalence in SE Asia comes from Burma. We do know that all of the areas bordering Burma are malarial risk areas, and the malaria maps show Burma as being at risk. Remember that the border areas of Burma have malaria that is resistant to Larium, so larium should not be used there.

Your options are either malarone or doxycycline. Read about them, then consult with a travel medicine or tropical medicine physician. You'll want to make sure that your immunizations are up to date as well.
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Dec 3rd, 2003, 06:09 AM
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Kathie is correct that Lariam is no longer effective in SEAsia. So with reading the governments information and consultation with your doctor and/or tropical medicine specialist make your decision.

The new Malarone is a great improvement over the Lariam with minimal, if any, side effects. These are started 2-days before entering area, then daily with food (preferably dairy as milk, cheese, yogurt), for duration of your time in-country, then for 7-days thereafter.

Pricewise they are about the same as Lariam - avg. $100; however, if you have a drug plan you may be able to save a few bucks.

And while it's claimed the border areas in Thailand are Malaria-free - mosquitos fly - and no one knows what programs, if any, that Burma has to eradicate mosquitos. So, personally, I'd prefer to be safe than sorry and go with the meds, cover-up from dusk-to-dawn (mosquito biting time) and use repellent.

With the proper information you should be able to make your own decision.
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Dec 3rd, 2003, 06:00 PM
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Thanks for the information. We will contact our travel medicine clinic and check with them. We need to see if our other shots are still okay or if boosters are needed, so at the same time we'll ask about the malaria medication. I'm actually relieved to know that Larium won't work there. The last time we used it, we both had side effects.
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Mar 4th, 2004, 01:20 PM
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Just got back from Myanmar. Am still on the doxycycline. It has side effects--upset my girlfriend's stomach and gave me a rash on my hands whenever I went out in the sun (which is a little unavoidable in Myanmar at this time of year). But, despite all the scoffing I did before I went, I'm really glad we decided to take it. I got ravaged by mosquitos more than once, even with bug spray on.
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