Why Antimalarials Should Be On Your Travel Checklist

28-06-2018

Malaria

Malaria and Travel

If you are a travel-enthusiast, you have probably come across areas that are malaria-prone. If you are planning your holidays to tropical and sub-tropical areas and/or in Eastern Europe, you have to ensure that you have antimalarials along.

A high fever and chills are the earliest and most common symptoms of malaria. It left untreated, it can become more dangerous and sometimes it can even be fatal.

 Young children and pregnant women are at a special risk of getting malaria and becoming seriously ill during their travels.

If you and the family are travelling to a malaria-endemic zone, you can protect them  (and  yourself) in two ways:

  1. By using antimalarial
  2. By avoiding the mosquitoes that cause malaria

What Is Malaria?

Malaria is transmitted by a particular species of mosquitoes. If a mosquito that is infected nibbles your body, the disease is fused into the body when its parasites enter and voyage to the liver to grow. Once matured, the parasites leave your liver and infect the blood which results in the symptoms.

The symptoms of malaria can take a week, several months, or even a year or longer to be evident. Common symptoms include:

  • High fever
  • Body aches
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea etc.

In serious conditions, a malaria infection can result in lethal conditions such as brain damage, breathing trouble, or kidney failure.

All travelers need to be careful of malaria and plan ahead to prevent any symptoms from ruining the trip.

Antimalarials and Pregnant Women

As much as antimalarials are important, they can harm you and your fetus if you are pregnant. During pregnancy, it is best you do not travel or if you do, make sure you avoid the malaria-endemic areas. According to Click Pharmacy, if you have to travel to a malaria-endemic zone during pregnancy, it is imperative that you take one of the two malaria medicines that are safe to take during pregnancy which are chloroquine and mefloquine.

Contact your health-care provider before you plan the journey. They will be able to suggest a solution/medicine that’s safe.

Antimalarials

While there may be several other options, Click Pharmacy suggests using the antimalarials given below for increased safety.

  1. Atovaquone/Proguanil

Malarone is a pill produced using atovaquone and proguanil. This combination is very effective in dealing with malaria and the formula is to be taken every day to get the desired results.

If you experience stomach pain, nausea and vomiting, or a headache when you are on these pills, know that the pill isn’t working for you and needs to be discontinued. Remember that Malarone is not safe for pregnant women, children weighing less than 11 pounds, or those with certain kidney problems.

If you have any of these conditions, consult a doctor.

  1. Doxycycline

Doxycycline is to be taken daily too.

This pill might not suit everyone. These side effects will include sun sensitivity, nausea and vomiting, and vaginal yeast infections. If you are on an acne treatment and taking certain pills, you are allergic to tetracycline, or had an oral typhoid vaccine lately, inform your doctor prior.

 Again, this pill is not safe for pregnant women and for children under 8 years of age.

  1. Mefloquine

Mefloquineis prescribed on a weekly basis. If the pill doesn’t suit you, you will observe side effects including gastrointestinal problems, sleep problems, dizziness, or neurological problems, and activation of underlying mental problems.

This formula is not recommended to anyone sensitive to mefloquine-related medicines, or with a psychiatric disorder, history of seizures, and/or certain heart problems. These pills are safe for infants and children too.

If you are uncertain about which antimalarial you should use, Click Pharmacy recommends taking a doctor’s advice and if suitable, starting the medication weeks before the trip begins. This way you will be able to identify if the pills suit your body. If not, you can get them changed/altered or get your treatment done beforehand so that you only return with memories you are fond of.

Bon Voyage!