Important Information for Medicated Protection Against Malaria

Background

Every year more than a hundred travellers from the UK catch malaria and tens of them die. The onset can be rapid. The right anti malaria tablet provides good protection.
Do NOT forget you may also need vaccines and other health advice from a GP or travel clinic.


Choosing to buy anti-malaria tablets online

No one type of recommended anti-malaria tablet works better than another. Some are daily tablets, some weekly. Some are started a few days before travel, others 2 or 3 weeks before.
Online prescribing is restricted to adults (18+ yrs) only. Speak to a GP, pharmacist or travel clinic if malaria tablets for children are required.
(POM) Anti-malaria tablets are prescription only medicine except chloroquine or chloroquine with proguanil.


Taking anti-malaria tablets

  • Take the right tablets for the area you are going to
  • Start your tablets before entering a malaria area. This may be a few days or up to 10 days before.
  • Take the tablets absolutely regularly, preferably with or after a meal
  • Continue to take them for 4 weeks after leaving the malaria area. This period is reduced to 7 days for Malarone and atovaquone/proguanil.
  • No anti-malaria tablet is 100% effective

  • Symptoms of malaria

    Malaria symptoms start out similar to flu. Symptoms include fever, shivers, sweating, backache, joint pains, headache, vomiting, diarrhoea & sometimes delirium.
    These symptoms may take a week or more to develop after you have been bitten by an infected mosquito.

  • Seek medical advice if you get malaria symptoms for up to a year after exposure, even after taking anti-malarial tablets.
  • If you are travelling in remote areas for prolonged periods it may be best to carry a malaria treatment with you. Discuss this with your regular doctor.

  • Malarone or 'generic malarone'

    A lower cost licensed generic version of Malarone became available in the UK from February 2013. This is non-branded atovaquone/proguanil, also known as 'generic malarone', and is medically identical to Malarone. Choose between one or the other at the end of the consultation (price information below).


    Avoiding bites

    Mosquitoes can bite at any time of day. Most bites occur in the evening.

  • Wear long-sleeved clothing and long trousers if you are out at night.
  • Use insect repellant on exposed skin and under thin clothing.
  • Insecticide sprays, mosquito coils and heating insecticide impregnate tablets all reduce the risk of bites.
  • Where possible sleep in screened rooms and use a mosquito net, preferably one impregnated with insecticide.
  • Ultrasound devices, garlic and Vitamin B do not prevent bites.

  • Useful travel and malaria websites

  • For general information on malaria see NHS Choices patient information for malaria.
  • Public Health England's malaria prevention guidelines.
  • The National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaCmalaria information sheet.