What are the Pros and Cons of Taking Malarone for Malaria?

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  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2019
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Malarone is a medication used to prevent and treat malaria. It is effective in the prevention of most strains of malaria and often used in conjunction with other malaria medications in treating the disease. There are a number of adverse side effects that can be experienced while taking Malarone for malaria, but the severity of these side effects is significantly less than what can be experienced while using other medications.

The most important benefit of taking Malarone for malaria is that it is an effective prevention against most strains of the disease. This serious disease is responsible for approximately one million deaths each year worldwide. People traveling to or residing in areas known to carry malaria are advised to take malarial prophylaxis. In the case of an active malaria infection, Malarone can also be used as a treatment.

There are a number of other benefits to taking Malarone for malaria as well. Malarone is shown to be a more effective preventative drug than other types of malaria medication in most regions. As it is a relatively new drug, most strains of malaria have not developed a resistance to Malarone. Malarone is comprised of both atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride, which attacks the malaria parasite in different ways. Malarone can also be used by children who weigh more than 22 pounds (about 10 kg) as both a preventative drug and a treatment.


There are also fewer side effects reported with the use of Malarone. Though psychotic effects can be experienced when taking Malarone for malaria, they are significantly less severe than those experienced by people taking mefloquine, also known under the brand name Lariam. It is also safe to get sun exposure while taking Malarone, whereas the malaria prophylaxis Doxycycline can cause severe reactions during sun exposure.

Though there are many benefits to taking Malarone for malaria, there are some reasons to avoid it as well. There are some strains of Plasmodium falciparum, one of the parasite species that causes malaria, that have developed a resistance to the drug. This is the most deadly form of malaria, so it is important to take a medication known to be effective against it when traveling to regions where this strain is endemic. Malarone also is not an effective treatment for cerebral or severe, complicated malaria, and there is a high instance of relapse if Malarone is the only drug used to treat an active case of malaria.

Malarone also can cause problems with liver function and complications in people who have hepatitis. There can be serious side effects to taking Malarone for malaria, including skin reactions, abdominal effects, neurological effects, weakness, and dizziness. Malarone is not recommended for pregnant women, and as it is unknown whether or not the drug can be secreted through breast milk, it is not recommended for women who are nursing.


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Post 3

For short trips, Malarone malaria tablets are fine, but it's not really feasible for longer trips in malaria stricken areas. The medication is too expensive. Something like doxycycline is cheaper and equally effective.

Post 2

@ddljohn-- You should be asking your doctor this. But I'll share my experience to put your mind at ease.

I took Malarone daily when I took a trip to Africa and I did not have any serious side effects. I had an upset stomach for a few days but realized that this can be avoided by taking the medication with food. Aside from this, I had no issues and I had a great time in Africa.

I think you should take your doctor's advice and start treatment a few days before your trip and continue taking it daily. You should take it for another few days after you return.

If you don't take the medication and just

wait to get sick, it's going to ruin your trip much more than any side effects. You might have to go to the hospital there for malaria treatment and other viral infections carry the same symptoms as malaria, so diagnosis might take a while. You're better off taking Malarone.
Post 1

I will be traveling to India next month and my doctor wants me to start taking Malarone before I leave and take it throughout my trip to prevent malaria.

I know that the risk of malaria is great where I will be traveling but I'm also worried about feeling sick during my entire trip because of the medication's side effects. Is it possible for me to just take the malaria pills with me and take it if I experience symptoms of malaria? Is this a good idea?

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