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Are Malaria Tablets Necessary

Are Malaria Tablets Necessary

Date : Sun, 13 Oct 2019

Are Malaria Tablets Necessary

Before deciding as to whether malaria tablets should be on your travel shopping list, it’s important to understand why they are recommended and the severity of the disease they are taken to prevent. Malaria tablets alone are not sufficient and require other precautions to be taken alongside them to maximise prevention.

 

What is malaria?

Malaria is an infectious disease spread by female mosquitos, through their saliva. The parasite has many stages within the body, where it multiplies and propagates, and malaria tablets help prevent this. Eventually, the parasite begins to destroy the bodies red blood cells (that carry oxygen around the body) and this is where people begin to become symptomatic i.e. notice some of the signs of malaria. It is important to note, malaria is a serious disease that can progress rapidly and that without prompt medical attention can and does cause fatalities.

 

Where is it prevalent?

Malaria is found in over 100 countries mainly in tropical climates but not exclusively limited to them. This may include:

Large areas of Africa and Asia

Central and South America

Parts of the Middle East

Dominical Republic and Haiti

Some Pacific islands

 

To check a particular country, please visit the Travel Pro website which provides more information and recommendations as to the type of malaria tablets you should consider taking.

 

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of malaria can manifest themselves in different ways, and their onset can be from weeks, months or even a year after exposure. It is therefore important to remain vigilant of these symptoms for quite some time after returning from an area of high malaria incidence and take malaria tablets.

High Fever

Headache

Night sweats/fever sweats

Nausea and Vomiting

Diarrhoea

Coughing

Abdominal pains

 

How can I prevent myself from getting infected?

We hope reading thus far, has really put the risks of malaria into perspective and preventing it has now prioritised itself on your travel checklist. Besides taking malaria tablets, which do not alone provide 100% protection, there are other measures that can be taken alongside malaria tablets, which collectively minimise the risk of infection. To make it easier, and ABCD approach can be implemented:

A Awareness – be aware of the area(s) malaria is prevalent and if these areas are ones that you will be visiting. Be aware of the recommended malaria tablets.

BBite prevention – as mentioned earlier, malaria is caused due to transmission of the parasite upon feeding of female mosquitos. If you can prevent getting bitten, then this will drastically lower your risk in addition to malaria tablets. This can be done by using insect repellents, keeping skin covered and insecticide treated mosquito nets.

C- Chemoprophylaxis – basically taking malaria tablets, ensuring you start before travelling and complete the course, which involves taking for a certain period after completing your travels to risk areas.

D Diagnosis – being aware of the symptoms of malaria, knowing they can present themselves up to a year after travelling and seeking medical assistance immediately. Malaria tablets whilst effective do not guarantee protection if not taken correctly and with other precautions mentioned above.

 

What malaria tablets should I be taking?

There are several malaria tablets available however it is important first to determine which ones are effective at preventing malaria in the region you are planning to visit. Due to the emergence of resistance, some malaria tabets do not work as well in particular countries and are therefore not recommended due to the risks of treatment failure. It is important to go on a website such as Travel Pro and determine which malaria tablets are suitable for your destination(s).

Once you have determined which malaria tablets is recommended for prevention, you can then proceed to purchase the treatment.  It may well be the case that more than one treatment is recommended, and its important to note that no single malaria tablet is superior at preventing malaria. They all work just as well and which one you decide to take will be based on your previous experiences (such as side effects and tolerability), duration of treatment (some being required to be taken longer than others) and price.

Below is a comparison chart of malaria tablets available.

 

Malaria tablet

Weekly/Daily products

How to take

Price

Low/Medium/High

How to calculate tablets required

Malarone

1 Daily

Start 2 days before travelling and continue for 7 days after

High

Days in risk area + 9

Lariam

1 Weekly

Start 2-3 weeks before travelling and continue for 4 weeks after

High

Weeks in risk area + 7

Doxycycline

1 Daily

Start 2 days before travelling and continue for 4 weeks after

Medium

Days in risk area + 30

 

If you are still unsure as to which malaria tablet you should purchase then you can discuss FREE via our mobile app Ask A Pharmacist, where a pharmacist will be happy to chat live with you. You can also purchase antimalarial tablets easily through our website and app at some of the lowest prices around and have them delivered securely via Royal Mail to your doorstep.