Tuesday’s Travel Essentials: Anti Malaria Tablets

Jonny Blair of Don't Stop Living recommends anti malaria tablets

Tuesday’s Travel Essentials – Anti Malaria Tablets are a vital part of your journeys…

You might have read my previous Tuesday’s Travel Essentials from a few months back on Insect Repellent or my advice on getting a Yellow Fever Certificate. I’m prone to getting insect bites everywhere I go and I always carry insect repellent, even to countries you wouldn’t think were at risk. However using repellent is one thing, but you can never be sure you haven’t been bitten therefore it is very important to take anti malaria tablets when you are heading to a malaria risk zone.

world map containing malaria risk zones - check with doctor first

This map gives an indication in red about malaria risk zones, but PLEASE PLEASE check with your doctor!!

Contact your doctor for the risk zones, but as a general rule Europe, Antarctica, Australia, New Zealand and North America are relatively free from malaria. Africa, South America and Asia pose the biggest threats to you. Do your research before you go and TAKE NO RISKS.

Jonny Blair in Paraguay - mosquitos bites use anti malaria tablets

Oops! Just a few bites I picked up in Paraguay of all places. Better to stay safe and use those anti malaria tablets!

Ouch!! You might say, if you’ve just seen that picture – yes I can scratch and itch these bites all day (by the way did you know that rubbing banana peel/skin over a bite helps stop you scratching it??). I’m prone to getting bites so I always make sure I follow the instructions. Personally I buy Doxycycline anti malaria tablets. I don’t have a particular reason for choosing that one, I started with it years ago and I have never had any issues with them, so I continue using them. If you are new to my blog, or new to travel, here’s a simple guide to the three main anti malaria tablets, though there are many more available:

1. Doxycycline

Jonny Blair uses doxycycline anti malaria tablets when he lives a life of constant travel

Doxycycline – my personal preference for anti malaria tablets but there are a few others!

My tablets of choice. They can be very cheap when you’re travelling, particularly at chemists in places like Durban and Siem Reap. These are two places I have bought them on my travels, hence I know they are cheap and am using these examples.

jonny blair uses doxycycline anti malaria tablets

My anti malaria tablets of choice are Doxycyline – I can normally pick them up easily and cheaply on my travels.

I’m not a doctor and I’m writing this post from what I have learned and read over the years, so please don’t take it as gospel – ask a doctor. BUT I am sure that if you are pregnant you should avoid taking Doxycycline. That’s important!!!

How often to take it – one tablet a day with a glass of water

Side effects – with all drugs you can get side effects, the only one I have had is tiredness and less urinating (not necessarily a bad thing when you’re on an 8 hour bus through Bolivia!!)

Where to buy them – On your travels. You will save A LOT of money buying them in a poorer country. Like I said before I got about 10 pills for $1 US Dollar in Cambodia, but have heard quotes that they can cost up to $1 US Dollar EACH in some countries.

Other tips – drink plenty of water while taking it, if you forget to take it, take a pill as soon as you remember, take them a week before you head to the infected region,and for 2 weeks after.

Decent website – Doxycycline on Drugs.com

2. Malarone:

Tuesday's Travel Essentials - Malarone anti malaria tablets

Malarone Anti Malaria Tablets – I haven’t tried them, but they are popular!

I won’t lie to you – I have NEVER taken Malarone, but I have travelled with others who do and they are effective. The difference to Doxycycline is that Malarone is always more expensive (dearer).

How often to take it – one tablet a day with a glass of water

Side effects – Malarone also has some side effects including upset stomachs, I haven’t personally experienced them but it’s important to take them as required after a meal to avoid the upset stomachs.

Where to buy them – If you plan on taking Malarone, buy them before you go as not everywhere will have them. From my experience Doxycycline are easier to find, and cheaper, in fact in a few places I have been the only anti malaria option they had was doxycycline.

Other tips –  Since I haven’t tried malarone, check out the Doctor Fox Website which is an excellent and trusted resource for those based in the UK, and it contains a useful table on Malaria tablets, which I have included at the bottom (copyright Doctor Fox)

3. Lariam

Tuesday's travel essentials on dont stop living - lariam

Lariam Tablets prevent malaria but they also, apparently give you crazy dreams and mess with your mind!!

I’m including Lariam in my top three as this is the one you only have to take once a week! It’s also the one which messes with your brain, which is probably why I haven’t yet tried it – the day I try Lariam I will definitely post about it, but my dreams are odd enough without these!

How often to take it – one tablet a week with a glass of water.

Side effects – Weird dreams, messes with your mind, can be dangerous to operate machinery or work in a job which requires high levels of concentration.

Where to buy them – Better to get them before you go even if it costs more – it’s your health remember!

Other tips – the big advantage that Lariam has is that you only need to take them once a week and this also means you don’t need to carry as much.

Those are the three that I see as the top 3 anti malaria tablets, but I have pasted this table below for you, as it sums them all up quite well and contains other types on anti malaria tablets:

preventing malaria tuesday's travel essentials on dont stop living by jonny blair

A decent table from Doctor Fox’s website on anti malaria tablets!

Don’t forget your insect repellent, mosquito net and wearing long sleeved shirts and jeans at night. Not to mention the importance of a Yellow Fever Certificate. The best way to prevent malaria is not by taking tablets, but by NOT GETTING BITES. Stay safe on your travels and please comment and let me know if any of this stuff is incorrect (I’m not a doctor, remember!) and tell me your preferred anti Malaria tablets.

Good links:

Doctor Fox Website

Anti Malaria Tablets Website

 

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