There are a few choices when it comes to deciding which anti malarial medication to take for your trip away. The doctor at our travel clinic will help you decide which malaria medication is right for you but below we have some questions that will help you decide and some further information about each of the medications.
Where are you travelling to?
Malarone and Doxycycline can be used anywhere in the world, whereas Lariam and Chloroquine will only protect you against malaria in certain parts of the world.
Are you pregnant or breast feeding?
Malarone and Doxycycline should no be given in pregnancy or in those who are breastfeeding. Chloroquine is safe in both pregnancy and breastfeeding. Sometimes Lariam is used in pregnancy if the pregnant women is travelling to a country where there is resistance to Chloroquine.
Do you prefer a daily tablet or a weekly tablet?
Malarone and Doxycycline are both taken daily whilst Lariam and Chloroquine are taken weekly.
When are you travelling?
If your travelling in a few days then you would have to opt for either Malarone or Doxycycline as they can be commenced 1-2 days before travel whereas Lariam and Chloroquine need to be started 10 days and 7 days prior to travel respectively.
How long are you going for?
For most this won’t be relevant but if your going to work abroad for a long period of time it will have some impact on your choice. Malarone can be taken for up to one year, Doxycycline for 2 years, Lariam for 3 years and Chlorquine for 5 years and probably more.
Do you have any medical problems or are you taking any medications?
For instance; epileptics can not have Lariam or Chloroquine, those with mental health problems should not take Lariam and those with severe kidney problems should stay away from Malarone. Your doctor will go through a full medical and drug history with you so they can make sure the anti malaria medication is safe for you to take.
There is not too much difference in price but some are cheaper than others which may factor in your decision as to which anti-malarial you opt for.
Administration: Daily; 1-2 days before / every day during / 7 days after return
Possible duration of treatment: 1 year
Contraindications: Severe renal impairment/pregnancy/breastfeeding/Metoclopramide
Side Effects: abdominal pain, headache, nausea, diarrhoea, cough
Cost: from £40
Administration: Daily: 1-2 days before / every day during / 4 weeks after return
Possible duration of treatment: 2 year
Contraindications: pregnant / breast feeding / children <12
Side Effects: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, oesophagitis, photosensitivity
Cost: from £30
Administration: Weekly; 10 days before / weekly / 4 weeks after return
Possible duration of treatment: 3 year
Coverage: Worldwide but some resistance in South East Asia
Contraindications: depression/psych / epilepsy / liver impairment / (pregnancy) <12
Side Effects: dizziness, sleep disturbance, headache, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, nasuea
Cost: from £40
Administration: 2 tablets at a time weekly; 1 week before / weekly / 4 weeks after return
Possible duration of treatment: 5 year
Coverage: Large scale resistance. Effective in Central America & Middle East
Contraindications: Epilelsy / Amiodarone use
Side Effects: nausea, vomiting, headache, skin reactions, visual disturbance
Cost: from £15