malaria and infant

#1 Sep 29th, 2005, 12:12
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  • cp5 is offline
#1
We are leaving for our big trip to India in 2 weeks. My 16 month old son is going with us also. His pediatrician gave him Mefloquine 1/4 tablet once a week! I took this when I went to India about 5 years and I got really ill! In fact I was so ill the day of our flight that I had to see a doctor in emergency to give me a shot to make me feel good enough to get on the plane! Nuts! Anyhow needless to say I stopped taking them and I didn't take it 2 years ago when I went either.

Okay so now the question! I don't know what to do with my son!? Should I give it to him and risk the side effects or just do all the preventative stuff like long sleeves+DEET+hat and shoes at all times! So the only part that would be exposed would be his face and hands!

Anyhow have any experience with giving a child mefloquin? I'll be predominately in Punjab (Jullundhar) and we may go to Pakistan for 5 days and maybe stay in Delhi at the end of Nov for 4 days before coming back home! Any thoughts? So I'll be there from Oct 16-Dec1.

Thanks in advance,

CP
#2 Sep 29th, 2005, 12:29
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#2
As a non medical person you should never give medical advice, which I therefore won't do.

So just for information:

For our kids we got Paludrine 50mg aday for the youngest one (3,5 years old) and alternatively 50 mg / 100 mg a day for the 5 year old. We were told this is based on WHO-advice.

hans

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#3 Sep 29th, 2005, 12:31
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Giving any chemiical preparation to an infant is a dodgy subject as because of the smallness of their physique, chemicals tend to be absorbed into their little systems much quicker and saturate them more fully than us adults who have been pouring chemicals into ourselves for decades - our livers are hardened a little to it and used to the shock.


If it were me, I would not give anti-malarials at all - but that's just my humble opinion. I would not, either, put DEET on the child as it is a very strong compound & what ever it rubbed onto our skins gets into the blood stream. I think personally that I would put a cream such as the pleasant smelling & purpose made, Odomos or some such other repellent - not wash him with nice smelling soap, dress him in long sleeves, a hat, and socks - no nice smelling shampoo, and keep my eyes on him. Dusk til dawn is the worst time for mizzies, but if you are around stagnant water and sewage (in the streets or near rivers) then an extra eye should be kept on him at all times of course. I believe I would rather be watching him almost every minute than harm his little body with chemical preparations. Put him under a mozzie net in bed and at nap times (checking inside the net first). See what other members may have done for their children, or email a reputable GP on a site like the WHO or a doctor in your own country that has experience in tropical diseases and who also has full knowledge of chemical preparations and their effects on small children - and not one of these GP's who are constantly 'bought' by the pharmaceutical companies.
#4 Sep 29th, 2005, 13:49
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#4
I would check with a doctor that is an expert on malaria, I would *not* trust a regular pediatrician nor would I trust any advice given on the internet.
#5 Sep 29th, 2005, 15:23
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#5
Wise words from Dhans! So this is not meant to be medical advice but my thoughts are...

reaction to a drug is a very individual thing. If your child is going to react it would be better to know before you go, so, if you are going to try the drug on him, try it in plenty of time to get an alternative.

Have a second string to you bow anyway; talk to the doctor about an alternative.

Doctors in India know a lot more about Malaria. And they know about the strains are in their neighbourhood and what drugs they have become resistant to. It can be a very local matter.

Not all chemicals get absorbed through the skin: I have no idea if DEET does or not. It is certainly potent stuff, and even if it is not absobed, a child that age will be licking and sucking, and I don't like the idea of him licking and sucking DEET.
~
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#6 Sep 29th, 2005, 21:29
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#6
Thanks for responding! I'll see if there is a posting area on the WHO website or does anyone know of someone I can write to?

I plan to not put anything that smells on my son since I know that is a attraction for the mosquitos! I would also think the winter months the mosquitos aren't out as much!? Am I being ignorant???

What is Odomos? Where can I get it? Is it less strong than the DEET?

Thanks in advance,

CP
#7 Sep 29th, 2005, 23:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cp5 Thanks for responding! I'll see if there is a posting area on the WHO website or does anyone know of someone I can write to?
I'd trust a local doc, or even a doc from the general area, more than an international organisation

Quote:
... ... I would also think the winter months the mosquitos aren't out as much!? Am I being ignorant???
I think that depends where you are going. In Chennai it is the heat they don't like

Quote:
What is Odomos? Where can I get it? Is it less strong than the DEET?
A well-known local repellant (try google). It uses a different chemical, and I have no qualification to say if it is less 'strong'. It doesn't work as well for me, but DEET doesn't keep them all away from me either.
#8 Sep 30th, 2005, 02:55
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The well known Odomos (and I swear by it) is just a moderate % Deet formulation. Whole armies of travellers to India think of it as an alternative! That keeps them protected despite themselves so thats okay. Deet is so volatile that it presumably evaporates before being absorbed by the skin. It is a problem if a small child licks it. Larium itself has a huge track record of bad individual reactions. An infant can't recognize or report such problems..
#9 Sep 30th, 2005, 05:04
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No offense, but your average doc doesn't really know that much about this subject. Do yourself a favor and go to a hospital or clinic with a Tropical or Travel Medicine Department. Just make sure they don't give you and your child Larium. Some docs still like it because it is a once a week dosage and easy for patients to remeber to do. My family (and young son) have had very good experience with Malerone. Malarone is a new antimalarial that is more expensive but has fewer side effects than mefloquine or doxycycline. It needs to be taken once a day by adults. The good news is there is a pediatric dosage available. Kids need to take this pediatric dosage 2x a day.

Malaria is a very real danger. ignore at at your own risk.
#10 Sep 30th, 2005, 05:08
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#10
Note Larium is Mefloquine. I too am surprised at the odd recommendation and would readily jump at the more expensive Malarone for a child. Doxy would not be indicated for under the age of 12 (teeth).

I hate the sounds of sirens. Thats why I moved out of LA..

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