Photo: Street food Phetchaburi Soi 10, Bangkok.

Southeast Asia forum


Posted by jayne2402 on 31/7/2007 at 14:16

Hi All,
I am visiting Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia and my doctor has said to take Malaria tablets. He has given me the ones called "Doryx".
Has anyone taken these before? I am worried about the side effects, mostly diarrhea which i have read on the internet can be a side effect. i know everyone is different.
thanks for the help
cheers Sarah :-)

#1 jayne2402 has been a member since 11/7/2007. Posts: 12

Posted by Mad on 1/8/2007 at 21:45

I am about to make my first trip to SEA myself, but I understand that unless you plan to go to malaria risk areas you shouldn't take the tablets beforehand (because of the heavy side effects), but only have them with you in case of emergency. that is what I'll do - we'll travel to BKK, Chiang Mai and some islands...

look further into it - also I recommend
good luck!

#2 Mad has been a member since 1/8/2007. Posts: 6

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Posted by Guernseystu on 3/8/2007 at 15:49

Absolutely right Mad - no need to take malaria tablets at all really. Good advice about keeping an emergency stock though - even if you don't use them you can always sell them to someone else!

#3 Guernseystu has been a member since 10/7/2007. Posts: 108

Posted by jayne2402 on 3/8/2007 at 18:40

if you take the tablets for emergency only, when would you take them, if you get bitten?

#4 jayne2402 has been a member since 11/7/2007. Posts: 12

Posted by sabaisabai on 3/8/2007 at 20:49

Hi sarah,

There are two main side effects with doxycycline. You may be more sunsensitive and the birth control pill may be less affective. Most doctors suggest using alternative contraception if on doxycycline.

An emergency treatment is taken if you think you're experiencing the onset on malaria. It's normally a couple of pills - kins of a super dose, it used to be methloquine, but am not sure about now.

It sepends where you are going if you need them or not. If you're planning on spening a lot of time in very rural areas, then perhaps, but major tourist zones only, probably not to worry.

best to talk to a travel doctor rather than your GP as well to get the more expert opinion.

also not sure where you are, but malarial pills are much cheaper in thailand than in the west.

#5 sabaisabai has been a member since 2/3/2005. Posts: 10

Posted by sabaisabai on 3/8/2007 at 20:52

This page: has the main side effects of doxycyline.

#6 sabaisabai has been a member since 2/3/2005. Posts: 10

Posted by jayne2402 on 5/8/2007 at 11:33

thanks for the advice. im sticking to the main tourist areas but will be trekking in the north of thailand for 3 days.

#7 jayne2402 has been a member since 11/7/2007. Posts: 12

Posted by mariamini on 5/8/2007 at 18:39


I've had a few problems getting hold of anti-malaria tablets in the UK.

I was recomended to take Malarone as it's the best one, weak side-effects and doesn't interrupt with the pill, also you can take just the day before and don't need to take for a month afterwards. Problem being - it's very expensive, and most places don't stock large quantities.

I've gone with Doxy..., but chose to purchase them in Bangkok, they're a third of the price and as long as you take them two days before entering malaria areas you'll be fine.

I was also sold some B1 tablets, which make you smell bad (only to mosquitos though) which maybe worthwhile investing in. I haven't been bitten since.

Hope that helps,


#8 mariamini has been a member since 9/7/2007. Posts: 8

Posted by jayne2402 on 6/8/2007 at 16:34

hi maria
thanks for the advice. have you had many side effects with doxy? thats my main worry with them.
thanks and have a great trip

#9 jayne2402 has been a member since 11/7/2007. Posts: 12

Posted by mariamini on 6/8/2007 at 17:54

My bf and I have been taking them for about a week and have had no side effects so far (touch wood!).

If you're only non-touristy bit is north thailand, I would only start taking them 3 days before you go if you're worried about side-effects.

Personally, I am taking them for the full duration of my trip as Im not experiencing any problems and it gives me the flexibility to explore non-touristy bits if I want.I guess you could always start taking them and if you get problems come off? Alternatively, if you can afford Malarone?

Hope that helps,


#10 mariamini has been a member since 9/7/2007. Posts: 8

Posted by Tilapia on 9/8/2007 at 21:35

Doxycycline is only to be used in certain parts of Thailand where the malaria parasite is resistant to mefloquine. It is not intended for use as a general prophylactic. This was taken from the CDC Travelers' Health Website ...


Drugs to Prevent Malaria (Antimalarial drugs)-
If you will be visiting a malaria risk area in Thailand, you will need to take one of the following antimalarial drugs: atovaquone/proguanil or doxycycline (see map).

Malaria risk area in Thailand: Risk in rural areas that border Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar (Burma). Risk in Koh Phangan. No risk in cities and no risk in major tourist resorts. No risk in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Pattaya, Phuket Island, and Ko Samui.


More info here ...

#11 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,521
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Posted by somtam2000 on 13/8/2007 at 23:01 admin

We've just added a feature story discussing the risks of malaria in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam -- may be of interest!

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Posted by alisonmilliken on 27/8/2007 at 19:09

I lived in Thailand 3 years and never took malaria pills. even when I travelled to Cambodia and Myanmar. If you will be going upcountry in rainy season, maybe that would be differnt, but for most tourist and travel, I don't think it is necessary. (Mosquito repllent is though!)

#13 alisonmilliken has been a member since 10/12/2006. Posts: 70

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