What is Paludrine?
Paludrine is a medication used to prevent malaria. This product contains Proguanil Hydrochloride, which belongs to a group of medicines called antimalarials. Anti-malarials can be used in certain parts of the world to give some degree of protection against malaria in certain countries. This product can also be prescribed by a doctor to help suppress some types of malaria.
What is Malaria?
Malaria is a severe tropical disease spread by mosquitoes and can be fatal if it is not diagnosed or treated quickly. If you’re travelling to places where there’s a high risk of the disease, you must be aware of the symptoms of malaria.
Symptoms can develop as quickly as 7 days after being infected. Typically, the time between being infected and when symptoms start is between 7-18 days depending on the specific parasite you’re infected with. In some cases, it can take up to a year for symptoms to develop. Initial symptoms of malaria are flu-like and include:
- A high temperature of 38°C or above
- Feeling hot and shivery
- Muscle pains
These symptoms are often mild and it isn’t always easy to identify as malaria. With some types of malaria, symptoms can occur in 48-hour cycles. During these cycles, you can typically feel cold at first with shivering followed by high temperature with severe sweating and fatigue. These symptoms last between 6 and 12 hours.
When to see medical advice
Seek medical advice as soon as you develop symptoms of malaria during or after a visit to an area where the disease is found.
What is an anti-malarial?
There is no vaccine against malaria, so it is essential to take anti-malarial medication to reduce your chances of getting the disease. Antimalarials are usually recommended if you’re visiting an area where there’s a malaria risk. The type of anti-malarial medication you will be prescribed depends on:
- Where you’re going
- Any relevant family medical history
- Your medical history, including any allergies to medication
- Any medication you’re currently taking
- Any problems you’ve had with antimalarial medicines in the past
- Your age
- Whether you’re pregnant
You may need to take a short trial course of antimalarial medication before travelling. This is to check that you don’t have an adverse reaction or side effects.
How does Paludrine work?
Paludrine contains the active ingredient Proguanil Hydrochloride which is an anti-malarial. Malaria is caused by various types of parasites known as plasmodium which are carried by mosquitoes and are injected into the bloodstream if an infected mosquito bites us. The parasite then invades our red blood cells and reproduces. A malaria attack occurs when the infected blood cells burst which releases a mass of parasites into the bloodstream. Proguanil Hydrochloride works by stopping the parasite from reproducing inside our blood cells. By blocking its production, proguanil prevents any malarial parasites that have entered the red blood cells from reproducing and causing malaria attacks.
How to take Paludrine?
You must take this medication exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has instructed you. When you are taking this medicine to prevent malaria, you should also reduce the chances of being bitten by mosquitoes:
- Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved clothing and long trousers when you are outside after sunset
- Use insect repellent creams or sprays on parts of your body that are not covered by clothing
- Sleep in a properly screened room or under a mosquito net
- Spray to kill any mosquitoes that may have entered rooms despite screening
When to start taking Paludrine?
You should start taking this medicine one week before you enter the malaria area. If this isn’t possible then you should start taking this medicine at least two days before you enter the malaria area. Continue to take Paludrine during your stay and keep taking it for 4 weeks after leaving the malaria area.
- Adults and children over 14 years – Take 2 tablets daily
- Children under 1 year (including babies who are being breast-fed) – take a quarter of a tablet daily
- Ages 1-4 years – Take half a Paludrine tablet daily
- Ages 5-8 years – Take one Paludrine tablet daily
- Ages 9-14 years – Take one and a half Paludrine tablets daily
Take the tablet(s) at the same time each day, after food. Swallow the tablet (s) whole with a drink of water. For a young child, the tablet (s) may be given crushed in milk, honey or jam.
If you take more tablets than you should
Talk to a doctor or go to a hospital straight away. Show any left-over medicines or the empty packet to the doctor.
If you forget to take a tablet
If you forget to take a dose of Paludrine, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is nearly time for the next dose of Paludrine, skip the missed dose. Do NOT take a double dose (two doses at the same time) to make up for a forgotten dose.
Only stop taking Paludrine 4 weeks after leaving the malaria area, or if your doctor tells you to.
When NOT to take this medicine
Do NOT take this medicine if you are allergic to any of the ingredients (see ingredients tab for full list). Check with your doctor or pharmacist BEFORE taking this medicine if you have ever had problems with your kidneys. If you live in a country where malaria occurs, you may already have slight immunity- ask a doctor or pharmacist for advice before you take anti-malarial medicines.
Other medicines and Paludrine
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines. This includes prescription, over-the-counter and herbal medicines.
In particular, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of the following medicines:
- Warfarin or other medicines used to prevent blood clots
- Antacids that are used to treat heartburn or indigestion
- Boosted protease-inhibitors (medicines used in the treatment of viral infections, such as HIV/AIDS)
If you are pregnant or may become pregnant, speak to your doctor or a Chemist 4 U pharmacist before you take Paludrine or any other medicine to prevent malaria and before you go to a country where there is malaria. This medicine can affect the levels of folic acid in the body, therefore pregnant women takin Paludrine should be given supplements that contain folic acid.
If you are breast-feeding, talk to a doctor or pharmacist before taking Paludrine. Although Paludrine passes into the breast milk, the amount is not enough to protect your baby from malaria. Your baby will still need to take antimalarials.
Like all medicines, Paludine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
If you have an allergic reaction, discontinue use immediately and seek medical help. Signs of an allergic reaction include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat which may cause difficulty in swallowing
- An itchy rash (similar to nettle rash or hives)
Other possible side effects
Stomach and gut
- Stomach upset
These usually improve as treatment continues
- Mouth ulcers
- Inflamed mouth
- Skin reactions
- Peeling and rash
- Occasional swelling of the affected area
- Hair loss (sometimes reversible)
- If you have kidney problems, Paludrine may cause changes to your blood
- A reduced number of blood cells which can lead to easy or unexplained bruising, bleeding, serious infection or feeling very tired, weak or breathless
· Liver problems which may cause yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
- High temperature (fever)
- Inflammation of blood vessels, which can cause tiredness, weakness, loss of appetite, rash, ulcers, bloodshot eyes, pain in joints, breathlessness and weight loss
Keep this medicine out of sight and reach of children. Do not store above 30°C and protect the tablets from light and moisture. Keep the tablets in the container they came in. Do not take Paludrine after the expiry date stated on the carton. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.
This product is a medicine; make sure to speak to your doctor or Chemist 4 U pharmacist before taking this product if you have an underlying medical problem or are taking any other medicine or complementary therapy. If your symptoms get worse or continue after taking this product, contact us or your doctor. For medical services in your area, please refer to https://www.nhs.uk
If you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, speak to your doctor or our pharmacist before taking this product. If you suffer from any allergies, ask your doctor or our pharmacist if this medicine is right for you.
Store all medicines out of sight and reach of children.
Please read the included leaflet carefully before using this product.
Please contact your GP if appropriate regarding this product.
Helpful Advice on Medication Restrictions & Addiction
For further information on our medication restrictions policy, please click here.
If you are concerned about addiction to 'over the counter' medication, we urge you to visit the below links for professional help and advice:
Active substance in Paludrine Tablets is proguanil hydrochloride. Each tablet contains 100 mg of proguanil hydrochloride.
The other ingredients are calcium carbonate, gelatin, magnesium stearate (E572) and maize starch.
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