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Trying to conceive and taking malarone - is it safe?

(4 Posts)
BelgradeGirl Fri 10-Oct-08 15:18:28

Hi, can anyone give me some advice on getting pregnant and taking the anti-malarial drug malarone?

I've just come back from West Africa and I should take Malarone for another week to prevent against malaria. I was in a high-risk malaria zone and got bitten twice. The thing is I'm pretty sure I'm about to ovulate and we want to keep on trying - but I'm unsure if it's safe to conceive while taking this drug?

Have looked around on the internet but can't find any conclusive evidence or informtion either way. Can anyone help? Has anyone conceived while taking malarone and gone on to have a baby safely (or not)?

Any medics out there with advice, especially appreciated! Thanks v much.

swampster Fri 10-Oct-08 22:11:45

Not a medic, nothing is recommended but it sounds like Malarone is one of the least worst.

From www.netdoctor.co.uk:

If you are planning to travel to a malarious region or have any other travel vaccines, it is very important that you tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

Medicines for pregnant women

Both chloroquine and proguanil have no special risk for pregnant women, and should be administered together. Pregnant women who use proguanil should also take a daily folic acid supplement.

In countries where resistance to chloroquine and proguanil is high, it may be necessary for your doctor to prescribe mefloquine. There is evidence that mefloquine may be associated with an increased risk of stillbirths, so it should only be used during pregnancy if the need for it is great.

The decision to prescribe mefloquine is made after weighing up the benefits of preventing malaria, versus the risks of harmful effects on the foetus and the risk of contracting the disease.

In scenarios where other medicines are not effective, the benefits of using mefloquine may outweigh the risks, but your doctor would need to decide this in conjunction with you. If pregnant women accidentally take mefloquine during pregnancy, there is no reason to terminate the pregnancy.

Malarone should be avoided unless there is no suitable alternative. Pregnant women who use Malarone should also take a daily folic acid supplement.

Doxycycline should not be taken by pregnant women.

Lib76 Sat 11-Oct-08 06:20:08

Belgrade girl. im a practice nurse and our advice to women is that it is FAR more dangerous to get malaria than not take the medication, of course as swampster said some meds are not recommended for pg women. it is essential that you keep taking the meds as you have been biten and you are at a much higher risk. if i were you i would leave it this month sad or you could perhaps try phoning one of the travel clinics. i suspect they may be closed for the weekend though. the MASTA clinic (google it) will be able to tell you more. to be honest though it's really important you complete the course of meds as malaria can lay dormant. good luck [smil]

BelgradeGirl Thu 23-Oct-08 12:08:39

Thanks for your advice Swampster and Lib76. I completed the course of malarone to be on the safe side. In the end we didn't go back to using contraception but I think I may have missed the ovulation - most likely was when I was away (without my husband). Thanks for getting back to me.

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