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Malaria pills - which ones ?

(13 Posts)
Lemonsaretheonlyfruit Mon 09-Mar-20 10:45:57

I am going with my 2 DC (9 and 12) to Kenya over Easter. Have had the vaccinations and now my thoughts are turning to malaria pills. I just had a look on the Boots website and there seems to be a huge difference in the price. By far the cheapest is Chloroquine, then Doxycycline. Larium is currently out of stock.
The most important thing is that they work (obviously) and that we ideally don't suffer too many side effects rather than the price - but it would also be great if they didn't cost the earth!

I have never had to take them before so just wondered if anybody was happy to share their own personal experience of taking pills and which ones. I know that different people will experience different side effects - I was just thinking that if 5 people came on and said they had a really bad experience with 1 brand in particular then I would probably avoid that particular brand.
Thanks in advance.

OP’s posts: |
scaevola Mon 09-Mar-20 10:57:06

CDC states that much of Kenya has chloroquine resistant malaria so I'd cross that one off the list.

Have you asked a travel clinic which ones are effective for all the areas in your itinerary?

I always prefer tomtake malaria, f suitable, because it has the shortest pre- and post- travel period during which you need to take it (don't skimp that - rather too common for people to stop, as soon as they return, not realising that hey have been exposed and still need the drugs)

Also get your bite prevention measures sorted

BinkySodPlop Mon 09-Mar-20 10:59:42

Check which ones work where you're going - in the Gambia, I had to have Malarone, in Goa chroloquine was fine and I bought them over the counter. I wouldn't personally take Larium if I had an alternative choice due to the potential side effects (unless they've changed the formulation in the last few years). Check how long you have to take them before and after your trip, too - this may influence your choice.

handbagsatdawn33 Mon 09-Mar-20 13:13:06

Do check with a medical professional - my GP practice has a specialist nurse.
Also, the instructions are to take with food, but take immediately after & not on an empty stomach.

lovelyupnorth Tue 10-Mar-20 21:50:20

Daughter away for a year on Doxy due to cost. We went for two weeks and took malarone

Coffeenofilter Tue 10-Mar-20 21:58:18

Malarone was the one I took in Kenya. Never had side effects. Also was one you didn't have to take for weeks before and after. I think just a day before and a week after. Not the cheapest, but worth it in my opinion. This is harking back years though (!), so I'd echo advice about seeing a travel clinic.

DixieFlatline Tue 10-Mar-20 22:03:27

You’re not talking about different brands, you’re talking about different drugs. You need to ask a doctor or travel clinic.

Sidge Tue 10-Mar-20 22:21:01

You need to speak to your travel clinic.

Generally I’d advise Malarone. Generally well tolerated, and you need it for a shorter time frame.

Chloroquine wouldn’t be indicated as there’s resistance so it won’t be effective. Mefloquine (Lariam) is foul stuff and we don’t issue it any more, there are better alternatives eg Malarone.

Doxycycline can cause photosensitivity causing rashes and itching, so I wouldn’t use that as a first line prophylaxis.

zeddybrek Wed 11-Mar-20 22:10:08

Definitely not Larium. It gave me such realistic nightmares I would wake up not knowing if I was awake or not and felt like I had lost my mind. It was very scary. Taken malarone lots and had no issues.

swlondonnanny Thu 12-Mar-20 00:03:15

I am just about to finish my doxycycline. Started mid Jan.
Was away for a month till mid February
It was my preferred medication from chloroquine malarone and doxycycline .
Not because of the price though - I am used to taking it for longer periods of time and have no issues with it (and generally hide from the sun anyway) and as it is antibiotic which I normally take for recurring infection for me it was win-win.
And only cost about £25 for the whole 2 months worth of medication - but that was just the bonus.
If either of the other 2 options were better for me I would have happily paid more.
In our surgery nurse deals with all the vaccines and had to see the GP for prescription - best ask your GP for advice based on your overall health and recommendations for Kenya (I did not travel to Kenya)
Also no idea if doxycycline is recommended for longer use in children / from what age
But for me and my husband it worked great and we have no side effects so I personally would always use doxycycline (and will do next time we travel again)
Also I think I went a bit overboard with mosquito repellent - took 3 different kinds + plug in one. + soap with citronella + my sun cream had mosquito repellent in it blushblushblush
In my defence I get bitten by all sort of insects and the bites like to get infected...
Some of the above seemed to work as I managed to get back home without any single bite grin
Hope you enjoy Kenya

endofthelinefinally Thu 12-Mar-20 00:06:03

Your travel clinic will tell you the correct ones for the area you are visiting. The choice also takes into account any existing health conditions or medication you are taking.
You don't just pick one based on price.

Tdaadfb100 Thu 12-Mar-20 00:20:10

Yeah. Anything but Larium.

stuckinthemiddlewithtwats Thu 12-Mar-20 00:28:20

I was prescribed doxycycline for Kenya a few years ago. Had no issues with it.

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