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Eera
BRONZE Member since May 2003

old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay

Total posts: 1107
Posted:In six weeks I'm quitting my job, travelling 'round Africa and ending up back in my native Australia.

Anyway, I've got to do the whole malaria prevention thing. Whilst in Papua I was on doxycyclin which buggered up my bowels, made me photosensetive and didn't work, so I've been recommended mefloquine (Larium) this time around.

Only the contraindications listed in the Pharmaceutical book are horrendous and I've heard loads about the hallucinogenic effect it has on some people.

If you've had this stuff prescribed did it work fine for you?


There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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spritie
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

spritie

Pooh-Bah
Location: Galveston, TX

Total posts: 2014
Posted:I was prescribed Malarone while I was recently there. It was a daily thing, but I had absolutely no side effects and didn't wind up with Malaria either.

I've heard differeing opinions on the side effects of mefloquine. Some people it seems to bother, others it doesn't. I think docs like to prescribe it because it isn't a daily pill. If you plan to do any scuba diving though (which I did), it is recommended not to take it because the side effects can mimic diving narcosis which is a very bad thing. This is how I got my doc to prescribe me Malarone instead.


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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay

Total posts: 7330
Posted:larium - got up in the middle of the night while in kenya with a full-on waking dream of snakes all around and a huge wolf with red eyes.

not as scary as it could have been but still, not the most pleasant hallucination i've ever experienced...

also affected by mild mood swings, random bouts of nausea, and heavily disturbed sleep patterns.

malarone is far, far better if you have a reliable daily routine to add it to smile


hope you enjoy your trip ubbrollsmile


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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Dom
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK

Total posts: 3009
Posted:never gone near larium, never, ever will do. There's too many bad things I've heard first hand - and look at Coleman! If that's how you end up on larium enough said! wink

Stick with the daily pills.


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_Clare_
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast

Total posts: 5967
Posted:I totally agree - I travelled through SE Asia for 4 months - everyone I spoke to said to avoid Larium.

Apart from the hallucinations and nausea that everyone seems to get, it also gave some friends of mine (who were, and still are, the most laid back, placid people you could meet) huge mood swings - they said they were trying to pick fights with people and became aggressive!! It's a nasty, nasty drug.

To be honest, I didn't take any anti-malarials. I was travelling during the dry season, when there are practically no malaria-carrying mossies around. I did use a strong insect repellent and slept under a mossie net, which was enough.

Best advice is to check the weather and speak to a travel doctor about the risk in the areas you are visiting. If you HAVE to take an anti-malarial, doxycycline (or a similar alternative) is your best bet.

If you do get malaria, all the docs can do for you is give you a massive dose of doxycycline anyways... the argument one traveller I spoke to was: why take these pills which are really bad for you everyday on the chance you may, possibly, get malaria - and even if you do get it (cos the pills aren't 100% effective), the only treatment is to give you lots of those drugs at one go.

I guess it depends on you and the area you are travelling to.

Safe trip, have fun smile


Getting to the other side smile

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:I had an attending physician who used Lariam while in India. He said he tolerated it fine. He said he did have some crazy dreams, but said that they were good dreams (he didn't elaborate).

However, I've heard horror stories, too.

I forget whether Doxy works on Afrian malaria. But I'd ask your doctor about what other options there are. Believe me, the side-effects of Lariam are much better than malaria.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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arsn


arsn

How do you change this thing???
Location: Behind the couch...

Total posts: 1903
Posted:offtopic but... are you comeing back to the Gold Coast???

now, back to boweling...


I can't hear you... I have a banana in my ear.

"You mean I'll have to use my brain?... but I use staff!!!" ~ ben-ja-men

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Eera
BRONZE Member since May 2003

old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay

Total posts: 1107
Posted:I discussed using Malarone with doc last night but the current thinking tends to be that it should only be used for less than 4 weeks, the other common drug, chloroquine is not effective in half the places I'm going so it looks like Larium is my only real option. I contracted Malaria in Papua (that's why the doxy didn't work) so I guess I could always let the African proterozoan meet the Papuan ones and they can have a party in my bloodstream.

The other option which I have been seriously considering is what Firepoise suggested and take preventaive measures rather than drugs; it's the end of the dry season when I'm there so mozzies might not even be an issue, on the other hand it's a condition of my insurance that I need to take every preventative measure as well.

My doc has prescribed a few more pills than normal so I can have a trial run to see if I get any bad side effects, so any posts along the lines of "YOU'RE ALL BASTARDS! oooh! look at the pretty crocodile" are due to that (actually, I'm quite looking forward to it now).

Arsn...I will return. If only to show off my contact beamer routine;

Spin spin spin bonk ow spin bonk ow bonk ow ow bonk.


There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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_Clare_
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast

Total posts: 5967
Posted:smile
Hope you have a great trip, whichever method you decide to use!

With regards the preventative methods...
its possible to get a mossie net treated with 'stuff' that kills any mossies that land on it (but is fine for humans)... definitely worthwhile

Also, if you can get the correct adaptors (and if there's electricity where you are going), you should consider one of those anti-mossie plugs (it releases something into the air.... so don't use it too much, maybe for a couple of hours in your bedroom before you go to sleep). Most mossies bite at night.

And most importantly - be really careful with your DEET content in your insect repellent (If I remember right, the legal limit in Oz is 40%). However, over here you can get 80 and 90% DEET... this is really bad for your skin. Not realising this in Thailand, I was slapping on some 90% stuff I'd bought in the Boots on Khoa San Rd and wondering what all the silver stuff on my hands was... then I realised the cream was melting the plastic decoration on the bottle and it was melting off in my hands. My skin started to feel like it was burning frown So, my advice is to use strong DEET, but bring some moisturiser and mix it with that before putting it on your skin.

However, you should be able to find a travel doctor who will know more about the country and season... dry season is often best to travel in as the mossies come out in the wet.

Take care and happy travels... its gonna be wicked ubblol
xo


Getting to the other side smile

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CaptG
PLATINUM Member since Mar 2004

member
Location: Dubai

Total posts: 29
Posted:I can only give u my experiences with malaria drugs here as i have just finished a trip around se asia and most of the indian ocean over the last 2 years in malaria infested areas at times so here goes.. I do not take any prophylaxics at all. what i do is carry the cures.. which were for me artesima or in africa artemisa (they are the same and its a herbal remedy plus its very hard to get hold of but is availiable in africa) and doxycycline. plus i carried quinine malarone and one other I had space..and at the first sign of any malairia you get on the doses and down to the clinic for a test which anywhere in africa costs about 1 us dollar... i would start on the doxy in this case then the artesima and then if there was no change start with the others which really hurt.. The reason for this is that if you take the prophilaxics the it slows the malaria down but allows it to really get into the liver.. The only other advice i can give you is the best people to talk to about this is the people fighting the disease on their doorstep they know alot more about all of this so when you get to africa go to a malaria clinic there and they will see you right .. but remember this is only my opinion which has worked for me. I am trying to be carefull as this is a hard subject to advise on just be aware that most of the malarial drugs now are very old and there are strains of malaria which are tolereant to most of them the only one i know that really works is artesima but at the end of the day if you get malaria get to a clinic so they can test you and give you the right drug for the right strain. and get the disease completely out of the system.... These malarial drugs are really bad for the system and can do alot of damage ruin your trip etc etc find a good reppellant and cover up buy nets and now clothes that are permenantly covered in repellant and enjoy the travelling. All of my info comes from a friend who got malaria in sumatra and a chinese doctor who sorted him out and allot of cruising boats sailing around africa of which none are on prophilaxics and feel very safe with these cures. The earlier you catch malaria the easier it is to cure..
hope this helps.


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