Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Cathryn, 16 Sep 2007.

  1. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Wasn't quite sure where to post this.

    Apologies to those who inhabit the touring thread but we're off to India cycling soon. Hugely excited. However I've been given quite opposing advice about Malaria and the need for anti-malaria pills. Rough Guides and various online sources say I should take it, the Boots pharmacist says we don't. We're going to Rajasthan.

    I'm nervous of the risks from anti-malaria tablets (hallucinations, hairloss, psychological effects) but also clearly would prefer not to get malaria.

    I KNOW this forum isn't inhabited by specialist doctors of tropical diseases and am totally responsible for my own decision, but I wondered if anyone had any thoughts or anecdotes that might help?
  2. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    I took them for a few weeks when I went but they made me really ill so I stopped. I did not see many mozzies in rajasthan, it was when I got down south that they made their big appearance.
  3. OP

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    If it's not inappropriate, what kind of symptoms did you get?
  4. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Miserable Old Bar Steward

    When I went to work in Egypt a few years back I phoned the Doctors surgery to ask and got an appointment with the surgery nurse who gave me any injections / meds I needed. They will be up to date with what you need to take and also when is the best time to do it. I think about four weeks before you go is the best time to do it. Get a Tetanus jab as well, better safe than sorry.
    Hope that's of help
  5. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Well, it was about fifteen years ago so I can't remember that well, but just get the memory of feeling weak and sick and nauseous. Any hallucinations or feelings of euphoria around that period of my life I will not attribute to the malaria drugs!!

    My wife also got ill on anti-malarials (in Africa). She got terrible mouth ulcers and was in bed, shattered for the best part of a week.
  6. OP

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Elmer, I'm all jabbed up, but thanks for the reminder! The nurse did think we'd need malaria, but told me to go to the pharmacist.

    Dom, that sounds hideous!!!
  7. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    I'm sure I still have them somewhere, probably in my parents attic somewhere, you can have them if you want, they still make me feel awful just thinking about taking them!!
  8. wafflycat

    wafflycat New Member

    middle of Norfolk
    When my son went to Egypt, I was advised by the travel folk to go to the MASTA web site and use that to find out what vaccinations/medications he requireed to have/take with him. Basically I could do online for £3.99 what the doc would do and charge more for to find out what was required!

    This page gave me the link to get a detailed health brief worked out and from that, full details of what meds/vaccinations were needed was supplied. It's what the doc used to then provide the necessary meds/vaccinations. If a MASTA health brief says you need malaria meds - take them. Malaria kills. When it doesn't kill it can leave you debilatated & ill for life. It is not a minor ailment.
  9. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    S of Kendal
    As Wafflycat says, use the Masta site and be specific about the date of your trip and any transit stops en route. Don't take chances with Malaria.

    I have used the tablets on numerous occasions with no ill effects. However I was cavalier with my taking them back in the 70's, and suffered badly on one occaision. Since then I have seen numerous people who have developed the cerebal version. It's not nice and a very sobering reminder that this is not a disease to be messed with.
  10. pw2389

    pw2389 New Member

    Were they Larium? I seem to recall about 10-15 years ago these acquired a bad reputation for severe adverse symptoms. Think it even merited several appearances on BBC TV's Watchdog programme.
  11. pw2389

    pw2389 New Member

    Which ones, Tim? There are quite a few different types - dependent upon the area in the world you are going to, they will recommend/use different ones. Presumably something to do with the type of malaria, drug-resistance and the like.
  12. zimzum42

    zimzum42 Legendary Member

    I had massive problems with larium, keep away from that, is the same as mefloquine.

    Have lived in malarial areas for long periods, and the best advice I can give is don't bother taking them. if you really have to, take paludrine......

    Best thing is to not get bitten, loose clothing that covers arms and legs, make periodic sweeps of your limbs to make sure nothings settling down.....

    If you're not taking anything, make sure you do have a supply of fansidar for if you do get malaria, you need to take three at once and sweat it out!
  13. Panter

    Panter Just call me Chris...

    Malarone are the new anti-malarial tablet at the moment. I took them in Mozambique early this Year.

    Side effects are very rare (I had none) and they boast 95% plus success rate. They are, of course, pretty expensive.

    The WHO has alist of malaria infected regions, your doctor should be able to advise if you even need to take them. You can, incidentally, buy Malarone on-line but you need to do it well in advance as you need to send off your prescription to the on-line pharmacy. You can get the tablets a bit cheaper this way, maybe worth doing if you're going touring for a long time and need lots of them.


    Chris ;)

    Edit: FWIW i tried to cover up as much as I could as I was advised to do. In the end though, it was just so hot and muggy where I was that I quickly realised I was gonna die from heat exhaustion, never mind the malaria lol so I ended up in T shirt and shorts, covered myself in citronella cream (DEET would've been a lot better) and just got clobbered by the mossies and hoped for the best. No malaria as yet lol
  14. wafflycat

    wafflycat New Member

    middle of Norfolk
    Friend of mine did that, living in a part of Africa that has malaria. She got malaria and almost died. She suffers serious recurrent bouts to this day. ;)
  15. zimzum42

    zimzum42 Legendary Member

    you win some, you lose some........
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