how neccessary are malaria tablets?

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#1 Apr 7th, 2005, 22:19
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  • mish-vs is offline
#1
Hi.

I will be travelling all aroung India, leaveing this Sunday, for 3-6 months. My boyfriend and I will start in Igatpuri and move up north, ending south, in Goa. We haven't arranged any anti-malaria medication as we didn't think it was neccessary. How dangerous is it to not take anything and just use repellent?

Has anyone travelled around India without using any malaria medication?

Thanks
#2 Apr 7th, 2005, 22:27
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  • Karma Queen is offline
#2
there are quite a few threads already on the whole malaria debate (which can get preeeetty heated...!). some people say no you shouldn't take them, some people say yes you should. my take on it is that i'd rather take the tablets than risk getting malaria. i used repellant, and took garlic tablets (the little bastards don't like the smell/taste or something aparently), but still got bitten to pieces...

your decision really
#3 Apr 7th, 2005, 22:28
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#3
Try the search function on this forum, http://www.indiamike.com/india/searc...earchid=106810

Quote:
Originally Posted by mish-vs Has anyone travelled around India without using any malaria medication?
Yes, twice, and in other countries too. However you get it you don't treat it you die or you'll be sick for a very long time, it's a serious disease. Your call.
#4 Apr 7th, 2005, 22:34
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#4
I never use Malaria Tablets - I find them difficult to swallow, and they make me feel ill!

Malaria is not such a risk in South India or in the hill stations where I spend my time in India.

When I am in a mosquito area I take other precautions, such as 100% DEET from dusk onwards and sensible clothing. I also smoke cigarettes which seems to deter the little blighters!

All Malaria Tablets can have side effects, and Malaria can be a very serious illness.

You really should consult your doctor and ask his or her advice.
#5 Apr 7th, 2005, 22:37
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#5
Malaria is definitely something you don't want to catch. I would recommend bringing pills, trying them out and if they make you ill, then drop them.

The pills were ruining my vacation and I stopped taking them after 3 days. Afterwards, I applied citronella to exposed skin whenever we were in areas with a lot of mosquitoes.
#6 Apr 7th, 2005, 23:49
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#6
It all depends on your attitude to risk. The question on whether to take antimalarials is exactly like asking whether you should wear a seatbelt in a car or if you should wear a helmet whilst riding a bike.
#7 Apr 8th, 2005, 00:13
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Antimalarial drugs do not prevent you from being infected with malaria, but they kill the parasites at an early stage of development. This means your bout of malaria will just be less severe than if you had never taken pills to begin with. Prevention is better than cure. Make sure you don't get bitten by the mosquitos.
#8 Apr 8th, 2005, 00:22
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#8
What about expats who live in India? You can't take malaria pills indefinitely, can you?
#9 Apr 8th, 2005, 00:43
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by traceyam What about expats who live in India? You can't take malaria pills indefinitely, can you?
Good Question! Like, "are we supposed to go on using sunblock cream indefinately?"
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#10 Apr 8th, 2005, 01:16
belkin_wonder_boy Future Member
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I don't know about you, but I don't ingest sunscreen.
#11 Apr 8th, 2005, 04:06
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#11
u willknow their use when u get the malaria like I did twice, they work like magic if the plasmodium parasite is sensetive to the Rx
#12 Apr 8th, 2005, 04:07
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#12
There are a Billion people in India and my hunch is most of them don't take any anti-malarial medication. So, you could take your chances too.
#13 Apr 8th, 2005, 04:22
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#13
There's an alternative to prophylactics, for ppl who are in malaria areas longer term: it's quite new on the market, and is only taken when you feel symptoms of malaria (if you're mistaken and don't have malaria, it doesn't harm you to take them anyway).
Active ingredient is a plant called artemesia, and it's becoming v popular as an economical treatment in third-world countries, to the point that farmers of the plant can't produce it fast enough to keep up with current demand. Apparently it has a 95% success rate in treating malaria cases, but don't quote me - that's just what i've read.
It's called Coartem in a lot of countries (i got it as Coartem in south africa last year); in the UK it's called Riamet - i found this out yesterday after calling the manufacturers themselves because my doc and the pharmacies i called had never heard of it and thought i was a crackpot. After educating my doc about it this morning, and finding a pharmacist who could order it in, I finally managed to get a prescription. I'd rather carry that with me in case i get symptoms, than take pills daily for god-knows-how-many months.
Sorry, but my karma just ran over your dogma
#14 Apr 8th, 2005, 05:05
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#14
Riamet can also have side effecs:

Grapefruit juice may affect the level of Riamet in your blood.

It may cause fatigue and dizziness.

If you have kidney, liver or heart problems you should have regular tests while you are taking Riamet.

http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/medicines/100004714.html
#15 Apr 8th, 2005, 05:27
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#15
There's a big difference between long term residents and locals vs. visitors. The various medicines (and no one type suits everybody) are generally not for long term use. The first category effectively has no choice but to risk it, Given the beautiful ability of the organism to evolve its unlikely to have an effective vaccine in our lifetime much less an inexpensive one. The real issue is for short term visitors. Do you feel lucky (name the film)? Even when you pick one you have to be an informed user and watch for problems and interactions. Life is just not simple unless the odds fail you and you get the big M..
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