Travel Talk

Recommended Anti-Malaria Pills for Africa?


Today we shall discuss the all important matter of purchasing anti-malaria pills. Malaria is a nasty disease that basically sticks with you for life once you get it. Think of the big “evil brother” of Dengue Fever, which is no walk in the park either. It’s transmitted through those promiscuous inter venous blood junkies, our friend the “mosquito”.  Malaria sucks but at least a mosquito can’t transfer AIDS, that would be a serious problem.

I digress.

There are many options of pills and anti-malaria medication is known for its “Horrible Side Effects”. Many people told me NOT to take them but if I feel like I have a fever to go get treated… When in incredibly hot climates, it’s easy to feel like that, often. Also if one is going to remote locations, medication may not be readily available. Then again what is remote locations? I’ve never been to Africa so frankly, I have no clue.

From what I’ve heard Africa is not a “medical tourist” destination. In fact I got my yellow fever vaccinations because some countries won’t let you without it but supposedly offer a vaccination there. I did not want to get an anti-rabies vaccination in Laos, I most certainly do not wish to get an injection in Africa, not on a “bucket list” if that existed.

The side effects can be nightmares, nausea, upset stomach, headache, sensitivity to sun. Sounds pretty horrible. A friend of mine who has lived there for 5 years said it’s not worth it. They never take it. He got it once and was gone in 3 days. Said you will know when you have it.  The only one to worry about is cerebral malaria. He also said if you get it… You’ve been somewhere so off the beaten path that you probably have bigger worries than pesky malaria.

Oh decisions? The top ones are Doxycycline, Malarone aka (atovaquone and proguanil HCI)) and Latrium aka (mefloquine hydrochloride). I am thinking of going the doxy route just to be safe and save my mother a seizure from worrying about her son having malaria. A family member of mine got it in Ghana and has had issues since. Perhaps it was the cerebral type? Not sure.

I did some investigation and supposedly the US military is on doxy as latrium was giving them visits from Freddy Krueger each night when they tried to sleep. Also the best prevention is well prevention. Even the pills won’t make you 100% safe. Supposedly Malarone has no long term usage studies so not recommended for over 28 day trips. I may be in Africa a few months.

My question is this, have you ever taken anti-malaria pills? Any recommendations? Have you had any side-effects? I’d love to know as I will be purchasing them in the very near future.


Search du Jour?: “raw blood infections“.

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