Anti Malaria Tablets
In addition to using an effective insect repellent when visiting a country where there is a risk of malaria infection, it is advisable to take anti malaria tablets. Malaria is a serious disease that can be life threatening; it is important to take precautions against it.
Contains the active ingredients chloroquine and proguanil for preventing malaria. Available to buy over the counter without prescription. Take regularly as per instructions to ensure maximum effectiveness.
Malaria tablets do not guarantee protection against malaria; they act to help prevent malaria, and they do not prevent insect bites.
What Malaria Tablets Can I Buy Over the Counter?
Some anti malaria tablets can be bought over the counter without a prescription, such as chloroquine and proguanil. Chloroquine and proguanil anti malaria tablets are often taken together.
Two 250mg chloroquine tablets should be taken each week (on the same day) spent in a malaria risk zone, whether staying or just passing through, and two tablets should be taken one week beforehand, (also on the same day). This regime must be continued for four weeks upon return.
Children aged 1-4 should have half a chloroquine tablet, children aged 5-8 should have one tablet, and children aged 9-14 should take one and a half tablets.
Two 100mg proguanil tablets should be taken each day spent in a malarial zone, whether staying or just passing through, and two tablets should be taken each day one week beforehand. This regime should be continued for four weeks upon return. Children aged 1-4 should have half a proguanil tablet, children aged 5-8 should have one tablet, and children aged 9-14 should take one and a half tablets.
Do We Need Malaria Tablets?
Different types of anti malaria tablets will be appropriate depending on the country you are visiting. This is because the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum has developed a resistance to chloroquine and proguanil in many countries. There are other anti-malarial tablets available on prescription that may be more appropriate.
See a doctor, pharmacist or travel clinic for advice about whether you need malaria tablets, and which prophylactic drugs are suitable for your country of visitation. Make sure your medication is obtained from a reliable source before travelling, as there is a danger of being sold fake tablets elsewhere.
Follow instructions for taking malaria tablets exactly as directed, because taking them incorrectly may render them ineffective. Do not exceed the recommended dose, and as with all medicines, read the enclosed information leaflet carefully before use.
It is important to continue taking anti malaria tablets for the specified time after returning home, as there is a possibility the malaria parasite could still be in your blood.
If flu-like symptoms develop when in a malarial zone, even when taking preventative medication, seek medical advice immediately. This applies not only while in a malarious area, but also for one year after returning home. They could be symptoms of malaria infection.
Remember to also take other precautions against mosquito bites, including using mosquito repellents, screening windows and doors, covering skin with light coloured clothing as much as possible during the hours of dusk and dawn, using a room spray to kill any mosquitoes, and sleeping under an insecticide treated mosquito net.