Tablets taken once a week. Treatment should start at least one week (preferably 2-3 weeks) before trip. Some users experience strong side effects. Not recommended if you suffer from depression/anxiety or other psychological conditions.
General Information about Malaria Prevention
ABCD to preventing Malaraia
- A wareness of risk of malaria.
- B ite prevention.
- C hemoprophylaxis (taking antimalarial medication exactly as prescribed).
- D iagnosis and treatment of any malaria symptoms.
Awareness of Malaria Risks
It is not possible to avoid mosquito bites completely but the less you are bitten, the less likely you are to get malaria.
To avoid being bitten:
- Stay somewhere that has effective air conditioning and screening on doors and windows. If this is not possible, make sure that doors and windows close properly.
- If you are not sleeping in an air-conditioned room, sleep under an intact mosquito net that has been treated with insecticide.
- Use insect repellent on your skin and in sleeping environments. Remember to re-apply it frequently. The most effective repellents contain diethyltoluamide (DEET) and are available in sprays, roll-ons, sticks and creams.
- Wear light, loose-fitting trousers, rather than shorts, and shirts with long sleeves. This is particularly important during early evening and at night when mosquitoes prefer to feed.
- Garlic, vitamin B and ultrasound devices do not prevent mosquito bites from occurring.
Anti Malarial Medication
Taking medicine to prevent getting malaria is essential if you are visiting areas where there is a risk of malaria. However, antimalarials are not 100% effective so taking steps to avoid bites is also important.
When taking antimalarial medication:
- Make sure you get the right antimalarial tablets before you go (by visiting Fit for Travel ).
- Follow the instructions included with your tablets carefully.
- It is important that you continue to take your tablets after returning from your trip (to cover the incubation period of the disease).
- Most antimalarial tablets need to be taken for four weeks after you return, although atovaquone plus proguanil (Malarone) needs to only be taken for one week.
Symptoms of malaria (to help with prompt diagnosis)
Symptoms are similar to flu. They include fever, shivers, sweating, backache, joint pains, headache, vomiting, diarrhoea and sometimes delirium. These symptoms may take a week or more to develop after you have been bitten by a mosquito. Occasionally, it takes a year for symptoms to develop.
This means that you should suspect malaria in anyone with a feverish illness who has travelled to a malaria-risk area within the past year, especially in the previous three months.
If you experience any flu-like symptoms after returning you should seek immedidate medical attention and tell the doctor about your background and recent travel history.
How to take it
One dose should be taken a week before departure and it should be continued throughout exposure and for 4 weeks afterwards, however three doses at weekly intervals prior to departure are advised if the drug has not been used before - this can detect in advance those likely to get side effects so that an alternative can be prescribed.
Lariam is not suitable for patients with active depression, a recent history of depression, generalized anxiety disorder, psychosis, or schizophrenia or other major psychiatric disorders, or with a history of convulsions.
Side effects may include: nausea, diarrhoea, dizziness, abdominal pain, rashes, pruritis, headache, dizziness, convulsions, sleep disturbances (insomnia, vivid dreams) and psychotic reactions such as depression.
Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment. The patient information can be found here .
Learn more about common health problems affecting many of us every day.