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jonathanrhunt Jan 27th, 2005 07:44 PM

Malaria Tablets
Hi, I will be traveling throughout Southeast Asia and China including Thailand, Bali, and within China from Hong Kong to Peking and I was wondering if I would be safe not taking malaria medicine. I am planning to make this a very inexpensive trip by staying in youth hostels and cheap bungalows on the beach. Also if I should take the medicine what do you recommend?

jonathanrhunt Jan 27th, 2005 07:47 PM

I forgot to mention that I will be traveling from May 23 through august 5.

Kathie Jan 27th, 2005 07:51 PM

Here's the website to check:

Much of SE Asia is not malarial risk. However, you should still protect yourself against mosquito bites (dengue is in many areas where malaria is not a problem). Also read about recommended immunizations. Once you've done your research, you'll be ready to discuss your travel medicine needs with a travel medicine specialist.

jat Jan 30th, 2005 07:19 AM

I would recommend you first find out if you will be in an area with malaria (eg, through the website mentioned above) and if so, what medications are recommended for that area. Some meds are not effective for certain strains. To be safe, I would recommend you visit a travel medicine clinic for advice. I recently took Malarone and had no side effects. You can also take an antibiotic, but you have to take it for a longer period of time and it can make you more sensitive to sunlight.

Guenmai Jan 31st, 2005 06:58 AM

I personally have never taken malaria medication while in Southeast Asia. I just got off of Malarone on a very recent return from Ghana, West Africa and was also on Malarone last year while in Ghana. In Southeast Asia as in any tropical type of place I cover up as much as possible and then DEET products can always be used. You'll have to make the final decision on this one however. Happy Travels!

rhkkmk Jan 31st, 2005 09:12 AM

kathie---how about malerone for LP?? thanks


Kathie Jan 31st, 2005 11:26 AM

Bob, I took malarone for LP. As you know, there is larium-resistant malaria in the border regions of Thailand/Burma/Laos/Cambodia. For that reason, many travel medicine specialists will prescribe only malarone or doxycycline for the malaria-risk areas of mainland SE Asia.

rhkkmk Jan 31st, 2005 06:15 PM

thanks kathie....will order it...

popey Mar 17th, 2005 06:25 AM

I was in Thailand from 20.2.2005 to 7.3.2005 namely Bangkok, Koh Samui and Koh Phan Gan. These areas have been declared malaria free. As far as I'm concerned this is bullshit. On my return to Perth I became extremely ill and was hospitalised for 5 days with Malaria. I would strongly recommend prevention.

rhkkmk Mar 17th, 2005 06:30 AM

popey---i assume from your post that you did not take an anti-maleria drug??

Kathie Mar 17th, 2005 06:41 AM

popey, those areas are considered low-risk for malaria. As you learned, that does not mean no risk. Can you give us more detail about your circumstances? Were you sleeping in non-air-conditioned bungalows in Koh Samui and Koh Phan Gan? Did you use insect repellants?

I wish you a speedy recovery!

Janak626 Mar 17th, 2005 07:38 AM

for what my 2 cents are worth: doxy is the recommended anti-malarial drug of choice as per CDC for border areas of Thailand and Angkor Wat. Please note that one of the worst side-effects of malarone are nightmares and this should not be ignored. As a nurse (who has recently send one daughter to sub-sahara africa and the other to Thailand), I chose doxy when there was a choice. (for angkor region we have doxy) The daughter in Thailand tells me she is using a thai herbal mosquito repellent she bought locally (versus the deet she went with) and hasn't gotten bitten (but then again, this is the dry season). btw, it is actually more comfortable to wear loose fitting pants and long sleeve tops in extreme heat, as well.

Craig Mar 17th, 2005 08:17 AM

I took Malarone on my travel doc's recommendation for our recent trip to India. For some reason, Malarone had a laxative effect on me - not a good thing when flying or traveling in a third world country. Fortunately, my wife had an ample supply of doxycycline so I switched 3 days into the trip. Got a pretty good sunburn on my face so I can attest that the skin sensitivity side effect exists.

Kathie Mar 17th, 2005 08:58 AM

Janak, you are confusing malarone with larium (mefloquine). Malarone is the newest antimalarial and has very few side effects. Some people do get GI effects as Craig did, but that is uncommon. Re-read the cdc website. Both malarone and doxy are recommended for SE Asia. Larium can have some very nasty side effects, though many people take it without problems. Both malarone and doxy are effective all over the world - there has been no documented resistance to them anywhere.

TracyB Mar 17th, 2005 09:04 AM

My husband and I both took Malerone recently on our trip to India..I found little side effects, my husband said he felt a little strange at times (but he is strange at the best of times)..I had lots of headaches but do not know if it was because of the Malarone or just plain holiday culture headaches..Anyhow, I would take them again..

Janak626 Mar 17th, 2005 09:20 AM

yes, Kathie: I was (and am at times) confused. thanks, once again for being there, Jan

Patty Mar 17th, 2005 10:06 AM

I took Malarone on a recent trip to Kenya and it upset my stomach for the first few days, but then my body seemed to adjust to it and that side effect went away. I still think it's the better of the alternatives available and would take it again.

divediva Mar 17th, 2005 08:24 PM

malarone = cheap insurance
malaria is a long term, costly disease

we had no side effects to speak of and will
again use malarone when we travel this

popey Mar 20th, 2005 04:20 AM

Regrettably did not take any anti malaria medication. Stayed in fan powered bungalows on the beaches in both Samui and Phan Gan and used the mozzi nets and sprays etc. The doctors believe it was contracted the first few days of the trip which would have been the train trip from Bangkok to Sura Thani. Who knows? I am taking primiquine for the next two weeks and the doctor has assured me this will completely kill the dormant parasites that live in the liver. Although seems everyone becomes a doctor round about now telling me it will recur at some stage in my life. Ps the strain is vivax

Kathie Mar 20th, 2005 08:03 AM

Popey, you are correct that the train trip does pass through some higher risk areas, so that is most likely place you caught it.

By the way, do some reading about malaria. The myth is that once you've caught it, you have it forever. Not true. While some types of malaria have a liver stage, that if not cleared out will cause a recurrence, the liver stage can be treated as your doctor says. That does eliminate the parasite from your system, and you would only have a recurrance if you were again bitten by an infected mosquito.

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