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Southeast Asia forum

Malaria Tablets, should I buy them in Asia?

Posted by HenriPaul on 20/1/2010 at 07:28

Maleria Tablets. Should I buy them when in Thailand?
Hi, My friend and I are going to Bangkok in late Feb then over 3 months visiting Cambodia, Vietnam (South to North) into Laos and back down through Thailand.
Thing is we're not sure what we're doing and do hope to get on some treks into the country so have decided we should take Maleria tablets but wondered if they are easily availble when we get to Bangkok and are they cheaper there? For the Malarone ones which are the most exspensive it's approx £50 per two weeks so we could be looking at £300 for the 3 months!!!!!
Any help and adice will be greatly appreciated.

ps, also looking to get rabies jabs because of potential of going into the country, any comments/advise on actual risks?

Thanks everyone


#1 HenriPaul has been a member since 13/1/2010. Posts: 2

Posted by somsai on 20/1/2010 at 09:40

You're probably about 100 times more likely to get bit by a rabid dog as get malaria, so might as well get a shot for that too. Landmines.

#2 somsai has been a member since 1/3/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 566
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Posted by Lother on 21/1/2010 at 02:50

If you are set on buying anti-malarials, I'd go for doxycycline. It's just as effective and side effects are quite rare. Very cheap, available over the counter in Bangkok.

#3 Lother has been a member since 12/5/2006. Location: Earth. Posts: 214
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Posted by chriswotton on 21/1/2010 at 04:45

I'd have to go agree, go with Doxycycline - Malarone is so pricey compared. You'll get them two a penny once you're in Bangkok - you can get them from Boots just off Khaosan Road (the end that Gulliver's and the police station is at, not where Burger King is).

As far as rabies is concerned, as Somsai says, there's quite the chance of getting bitten, but remember that having rabies jabs before you go doesn't give you any real protection from catching rabies - just a little more time to get to a hospital, where you'll still need injections if you do get bitten.

I had a rabies jab before I went out to Thailand for the first time and I regretted having bothered. I wouldn't worry, unless you're going to be more than 24 hours away from a reliable hospital, which I would have thought is going to be unlikely in Thailand, unless you're going really out of the way on your trekking, and are not going to be able to get a ride to a hospital in an emergency - Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam are, of course, another matter.

#4 chriswotton has been a member since 7/9/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 99
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Posted by Gorey on 21/1/2010 at 06:47

Yea doxycycline is very easy to get from any pharmacy (Boots, Watsons etc..) they will know exactly what you want as well so i doubt you'd have any difficulty getting them. First time i went to buy them out there in my rubbish Thai began saying 'hello, i would like doxy..' and the woman behind the counter finished the sentence for me and asked how many weeks.

Its definitely worth getting the rabies jab, although if i recall properly you have to get it a certain length before going. I wasnt able to get it as i was leaving too soon.

Make sure your tetanus,polio (something else) combo jab is up to date probably will be. I think its oral now. You may also want a Typhoid jab. I think all of the above a still free in UK.

If your from UK and getting your jabs there i found every clinic/gp has almost insisted on me getting the Japanese Encephalitis jab, i think it costs around £112 (although that was about 5 years ago, ever since then the nurse hasn't gotten far enough to tell me the price before i say no thanks). They can be very insistent. You dont need it, a friend of mine who is a GP in a clinic mainly used by traveling folks has told me its pushed as it has a very high profit margin for the NHS.

#5 Gorey has been a member since 26/3/2007. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 58

Posted by somsai on 21/1/2010 at 07:40

Actually I didn't say there was a high chance of getting bit by a rabid dog, only that it was 100 times more likely than catching malaria. I think that was the question asked at the end of the post.

I'd think the chance of a rabid dog would be very low, I've only heard of a couple people being bit by mammals over the years, where they couln't catch the animal for testing. Even then they didn't know of the mammal was rabid.

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Posted by chriswotton on 21/1/2010 at 17:38

Sorry for confusion, have just re-read the last part of the original question. But in any case I meant what you said, i.e. that there's quite the chance of getting bitten compared to catching malaria. I always think that so long as you are careful around dogs etc, you can avoid the issue, but with the number of strays in many areas, it does happen. Though as you note, it's not just dogs that are the problem but any number of mammals.

Also agree with Gorey about the Jap C.

#7 chriswotton has been a member since 7/9/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 99
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Posted by christay2009 on 22/1/2010 at 02:09

I have no personal experience with doxy but everyone i met who was taking it said they had nightmares and/or stomach problems. I think it really depends on the individual. I'd try taking some before buying a load, even if they aren't expensive, better not to waste the money

Concerning rabies, i was under the impression that the jab gave you 24 hours before the virus reached your brain and killed you, while those without the jab have just a couple of hours. I'm not sure where i got this from though?! :-) so might be a load of old crock

I got my rabies jab for free, even so, they last for 10 years. If you were thinking of travelling to loads of far flung places then it might be a good investment, at least for peace of mind...

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Posted by chriswotton on 22/1/2010 at 02:51

I thought the time difference between having and not having had a rabies jab was about 24 hours versus a few days, but I may be wrong.

#9 chriswotton has been a member since 7/9/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 99
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