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Travelers Health for Burma, Thailand and Laos

Travelers Health for Burma, Thailand and Laos

Old Oct 24th, 2010, 08:09 AM
  #21  
 
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live42day, I recommend you do not buy drugs to treat malaria anywhere in SE Asia other than a major hospital in Thailand, Malaysia or another well-developed country. The latest research on buying drugs to treat malaria found that well over a third of the drugs purchased in VN, Cambodia, Laos, and Burma were counterfeit.

In consultation with your physician, you could take along a treatment dose of malarone or coartem. You would need to be well-informed about when to use it, and you need to know that side effects are much more likely to be experienced at treatment doses than prevention doses.

What drug did you purchase in Tanzania? Meflouquine (larium) is used to treat malaria in Tanzania, but it is not effective in much of SE Asia. Also, it is the anti-malarial with the most frequent and the most severe side effects.

Please read the cdc info and the fitfortravel websites. There is a lot of misinformation that floats around the internet about malaria, myths like "anti-malarials are worse than getting malaria" "anti-malarials won't prevent you from getting malaria" "anti-malarials just cover up the symptoms so it makes it harder to treat the malaria" etc. even a number of well-regarded guidebooks print misinformation (LP is famous for this). After reading everything you can, consult with a travel med professional.

There are many things to be considered in the decision about whether to take anti-malarial. Many are very individual having to do with your own health history. None of us can know what is best for you other than to be well-informed and to consult with a professional on the matter.

VB, dengue is an issue all over SE Asia as well as in many other countries. Of course, one should do everything one can to prevent mosquito bites because of a number of mosquito-bourne illnesses. I do not mention this in my discussion of anti-malarials, as anti-malarials have no effect on dengue.
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Old Oct 24th, 2010, 08:13 AM
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eks, I don't know why Robbie's doctor doesn't recommend the z-pack other than the crumbling issue. I carried a z-pack with me last year and noticed that although I packed it carefully, several pills showed crumbing inside the pack.

I also note than azithromycin has a relatively short shelf-life, so check the expiration dates on yours. Some antibiotics become toxic as they deteriorate, so toss any that are beyond their expiration dates.
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Old Oct 24th, 2010, 10:15 AM
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Kathie, the drug is called Plasmotrim, it is made in Switzerland and my friend, who runs a free clinic on Zanzibar, got it from a pharmasist in Stone Town. My friends were here this summer visiting and I suggested I would take this to Laos and they told me it would not be effective there. It looks like it expires this month anyhow.


I never thought about the drugs in Asia being counterfeit, thanks.

I have read about taking Malarone, (which I did not have any reaction to by the way when I took them five years ago) as an anti malarian after the fact, but as you say you would have to know what you are doing, and as I am travelling alone I would rather not trust my own judgement on this perhaps.

Still thinking.....
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Old Oct 24th, 2010, 11:50 AM
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Interesting. I'm not familiar with that drug, but it is used for emergency treatment of malaria, and requires the person to get medical attention as soon as possible to complete the treatment. This is basically a life-saving drug for those who contract malaria and do not have immediate access to medical care. Is is an artesunate and not combined with another drug, so is not recommended alone as a treatment.
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Old Oct 24th, 2010, 01:02 PM
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Thank you, Kathie. I have heard of medicines losing potency as they age but never heard of any becoming toxic! (I will ask my doc about this when I see her soon..)
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Old Oct 24th, 2010, 03:59 PM
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"I think something got lost in translation or in the process of he said she said about Malarone and blood donation."
No, she was definitely told not to donate for 3 years.
See this link
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...g_Prabang.html
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Old Oct 25th, 2010, 12:30 AM
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I have been a blood donor and have taken Malarone nad other Malaria drugs many times. I have also contracted Malaria (which believe me not a pleasant experience). I was instructed not to donate blood for three years FROM THE TIME I CONTRACTED MALARIA. It is also standard practice here in the UK for the Blood Donation service not to allow donation for a period of 6 months after return form a "malarial area".
EVERY time I donate blood I have to complete a detailed form listing all possible medical, sexual and travel questions you could imagine and these do change from time to time.

The problem with post such as this is that, no matter how well meaning, the content is usually from non professionals whose knowledge is usually limited and often based on heresay.

The answer is to seek advice from a properly qualified doctor who is experienced in the field of tropical medicine and has access to up to date information.
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Old Oct 25th, 2010, 07:37 PM
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"The answer is to seek advice from a properly qualified doctor who is experienced in the field of tropical medicine and has access to up to date information."
I agree Crellston. Preferably one who lives and works in the area and does not get his information from the web.
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