Photo: Street food Phetchaburi Soi 10, Bangkok.

Southeast Asia forum

where do I take malaria tablets?

Posted by chicoelnino on 6/4/2011 at 22:37

I'll be visiting Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia over a period of 7 months.

I intend of taking doxycyline malaria tablets, but I've read conflicting reports of where I should/don't have to take them.

Can anyone point out the must take places? I intend to do jungle treks and other similar activities.

thanks.

#1 chicoelnino has been a member since 17/9/2010. Posts: 66
 Website   Twitter   Facebook  

Posted by Rasheeed on 11/4/2011 at 11:54

You should take them in your mouth.

Hope this helps.

'sheeed

#2 Rasheeed has been a member since 4/11/2010. Location: Cambodia. Posts: 311
 Website   Twitter 


Posted by travellingsarah on 11/4/2011 at 17:28 TF writer

Posted from within Vietnam.

You beat me to it Rasheeed.

Chicoelnino - I would usually say ask your doctor but I know even they advise differently. Still, they'll know better than me! Anyway, we took doxycycline as well and were advised by our doctor to take them in Cambodia and Laos and if we went off the coastal track in Vietnam - i.e. Mekong Delta and Sapa. Also, in Borneo and I think Northern Thailand. We didn't go to Indonesia so I'm not sure.

#3 travellingsarah has been a member since 23/3/2010. Location: Vietnam. Posts: 679
 Where has travellingsarah been?   Website 

Posted by chicoelnino on 13/4/2011 at 04:15

Amazing...with all the people in this forum that live/travel to Asia, and all I can is two replies? Come on folks? Our doc didn't tell us where we should/shouldn't take the tablets. I just presumed we had to take them for the whole 6 months while we traveled around?

#4 chicoelnino has been a member since 17/9/2010. Posts: 66
 Website   Twitter   Facebook  

Posted by Rasheeed on 13/4/2011 at 06:26

I have never taken them.

'sheeed

#5 Rasheeed has been a member since 4/11/2010. Location: Cambodia. Posts: 311
 Website   Twitter 

Posted by SBE on 13/4/2011 at 06:50

I bet not a single expat or long term traveller on this forum has taken them either. (Hands up anyone).

If you really need to know, I believe the CDC and WHO sites have information for tourists.

Even if you get that query sorted out, asking where the "must take" places for doxycycline is a pretty pointless question. If you do decide to take it then you'll have to continue treatment for a month after leaving a risk area ...ie you'll have to take it even when you're somewhere where there's no malaria risk. You'd probably end up having to take for the entire trip ... and possibly a further month after you get home too.

BTW, the only place I've actually seen a tourist with malaria was in the Togian islands in central Sulawesi ... it's a beach destination but there's endemic malaria amongst the local population. Not sure why people always seem to think lots of trees make mosquitoes more dangerous....a mosquito can't transmit malaria unless it's previously bitten someone who's got the disease.

You should be more concerned about dengue anyway, it's far more common than malaria in SE Asia. The only way to avoid dengue is to apply plenty of repellent ... which also repels any malaria-carrying mosquitoes about of course.

#6 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,002
 Where has SBE been? 

Posted by goonistik on 13/4/2011 at 06:51

I suggest you discuss this with a doctor. According to this website, you can take doxycycline for a period of up to 6 months but that also includes 4 weeks at the end of your travels. Look for the table "Long Term use of Anti-Malaria Drugs."
http://traveldoctor.co.uk/malaria.htm

The risks vary from place to place.
This website has malaria maps that show the risks
http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home.aspx

#7 goonistik has been a member since 7/1/2010. Location: Philippines. Posts: 562
 Where has goonistik been? 

Posted by BeeBop on 14/4/2011 at 03:17

Chicoelnino, check this page out on WHO webpage http://apps.who.int/tools/geoserver/www/ith/index.html

Hope this helps! :)

I am heading off for 7 weeks to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.... :) Happy and safe travels !

#8 BeeBop has been a member since 14/4/2011. Posts: 1

Posted by Captain_Bob on 15/4/2011 at 00:31

"I bet not a single expat or long term traveller on this forum has taken them either. (Hands up anyone)."

Hand! (living/travelling the region since late 90s, guess I should be dead by now). Actually took the meds at first then figured otherwise.

"If you really need to know, I believe the CDC and WHO sites have information for tourists."

Good resources for further reading, and look up dengue fever while you're there and check which medications to prevent that (hint: there are none).

Overall better to avoid getting bitten by mozzies in the first place via repellent, frequent showering - repeat application of repellent, wear long sleeves/legs evenings and mornings, and make sure your screened/sealed sleeping room/net is clear of the little biters before bedtime (I carry a mozzie-zapper device just for kicks). Malaria in SEA isn't anywhere near the risk level of sub-Saharan Africa or Amazonian S.America. Risk is in fact minimal in built-up tourist areas and cities (but again check about dengue).

#9 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,823

Posted by slapbreeya on 24/4/2011 at 23:07

IO have been here for 18 months and never taken them. My doctor back in the UK said to not bother and advised against it.

Just wear long sleeves, mossie repellant as anti malarial tablets wont stop you getting Dengue fever anyways. If the unfortunate case you contract Malaria then its easily sorted with some medication.

Cover up! Safe travels ;)

#10 slapbreeya has been a member since 22/4/2011. Location: Thailand. Posts: 50
 Twitter 


Please login to add a reply

You need to be a Travelfish member to be able to add a reply to this post. Please use the button below to log in. After logging in you'll be returned to this page automatically to add your post. Not a member? Join up here.