Malaria drug advice

Discussion in 'Asia Pacific' started by josjor, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. josjor

    josjor Long timer

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    I'm headed to India in a month. Alas, not a motorcycle journey but rather, a medical mission. Anyway, I'm hoping that some of you can give some input on anti-malarial drugs.

    First, a sort of big bit of info: I have Crohn's disease. For those not familiar, it's an intestinal problem that, in a nutshell, is caused by your immune system attacking your intestine. Generally it is pretty controllable with diet and medication. When I have "flare-ups" the symptoms are stomach cramping, the runs, etc. As an added benefit, the controlling medication that happens to work for me is one that basically knocks out my immune system.:clap

    I've already gotten the standard battery of immunizations including Hep A and B, flu, pneumonia, yellow fever, typhoid and the general ones like mumps, polio, etc.

    From what I'm reading on malaria drugs it comes down to three choices:
    Malarone: can cause side effects of nausea and stomach pain.
    Doxycycline: can cause side effects of nausea, stomach pain, and extreme sun sensitivity.
    Larium: can cause depression, seizures, and psychosis.

    So basically I've got two choices that can screw with my Crohn's disease and another that can make me raving, suicidal loony.

    Anybody have experiences with any of these you'd like to relate?
    #1
  2. canoli

    canoli human

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    I took Doxy with food and never had an issue. Dont have Crohn's but you can start taking it right now and see if you have problems. If you find that after a few days it's messing with you, switch to the other choice.

    Canoli.
    #2
  3. arn

    arn Been here awhile

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    I'd take a different route for this problem.

    That of prevention. It's going to be cool, so you should not have a problem covering up and using repellent on whatever parts are exposed. Carrying your own netting would not be a bad idea either. Further, malaria is unfortunately much more common here that we like it to be so doctors have a lot of experience treating it, just in case you have the bad luck to contract it. They'd have more than adequate competence treating it - though factoring in your Crohn's (not common here) would take a bit of time.

    If on immuno suppressives, you'd have to be very careful of what you eat, though.

    BTW, where in India?
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  4. speedracertdi

    speedracertdi Been here awhile

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    I went to Delhi and north this past August. My girlfriend and I both were taking Doxy, whether we were eating or not, we were getting upset stomachs. We gave up on the daily med, stopped getting upset stomachs and enjoyed our vacation.
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  5. josjor

    josjor Long timer

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    I'll be in the state of Assam and more specifically, the city of Tezpur.

    I had thought of going with just the prevention route, but I am on immuno suppressants so the idea of taking doxy that would also help with a couple of the other diseases is appealing. I've also done some further reading and there are a couple of varieties of doxy that are easier on the stomach.

    I've already gotten the standard battery of immunizations including Hep A and B, yellow fever, flu, pneumonia, and typhoid.

    Speedracertdi: Did you just not worry about malaria for the rest of the trip?
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  6. arn

    arn Been here awhile

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    Maybe you could do a "trial run" of 2 weeks where you are to see if it suits you. Just the act of getting bitten does not automatically mean that you will get malaria, but yes, being prepared for eventualities is never a bad idea.
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  7. Witold

    Witold Been here awhile

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    The answer of talking to a travel doctor should be obvious.

    Malaria is not just one thing. There are different strains in different parts of the world and some respond to some drugs and not other drugs.

    That said, my doc recommended doxy for India and that's what I took.
    #7
  8. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    +1 go see a travel doc
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  9. josjor

    josjor Long timer

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    I ended up with Doxy. It's the drug recommended for the area I'm going to. My pharmacist was nice enough to give me a few to try out and check to see if they would upset my stomach. They didn't so I loaded up. Good thing too, as the variety of doxy that is designed specifically to NOT upset the stomach would have been about $800.00!!!

    I head out next Wednesday the 2nd. Thanks for all the advice.
    #9
  10. arn

    arn Been here awhile

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    Buy your meds in India.

    Usually they cost a fraction of what you'll pay where you are. Almost everything is available

    Just FYI
    #10
  11. Wannabee

    Wannabee Survivor of Reality

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    Larium ... Stay away from it .
    Thousands and thousands of veterans are suffering from taking that shit , including myself . No experience with the others , just know that Larium will cause a lifetime of problems
    #11
  12. andyhol

    andyhol volcano rider

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    I live in a dengue fever/ malaria area and never take any meds on a daily basis. The problems that come with any of them far outweigh the benefits imho. I do have some just in case though, but saying that you are never really too far from decent medical services these days.
    If you do get sick you can take a larger dosage (of the dailies,check with supplier) to cure the problem yourself if you're really in the shit.
    #12
  13. Tucson Jim

    Tucson Jim Been here awhile

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    Start gearing up with tonic water, Jack Daniels, fresh lime to prevent scurvy..
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  14. jackalsour

    jackalsour Dreamer

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    Canadian CDS recently tasked a Surgeon General review of Canadian Armed Forces use of mefloquine (aka Lariam)

    The report has been posted online here and also discusses other countries and military approach to malaria medicine

    Botton line: Mefloquine is now considered a second-line treatment and only recommended if alternatives are not suitable
    #14
  15. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Have a couple of friends fucked up with Liaram. Not good.
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  16. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    I think it's Lariam. Took a few pills of it once then quit cos it made me feel like crap.

    I wouldn't ask this kind of advice on the net. What suits one person may not suit another. Plus malaria is a disease with different strains prevalent in different areas etc., you really do need to get expert advice. It's a lethal disease, so take it seriously. Happy travels!
    #16
  17. jackalsour

    jackalsour Dreamer

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    Yea that was also discussed in the report - the prescription process should involve a face to face with a clinician because there is no one solution fits all.

    I think it's worth being at least informed on things like this so that you can trust but verify what someone is telling you and ask relevant questions etc..

    I track my own vaccinations and I've caught anomalies myself. Doctors and physicians are only people too.. and very busy people at that
    #17
  18. usgser

    usgser Long timer

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    Since you're already gone, I'm late to the party but if Doxy doesn't work for you ask your doc about Malarone. I've worked in various counties in Africa and So. Am many times and always used Malarone. Never had any problems with it and so far as I know none of my crews did either.
    #18