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Thailand forum

Malaria tablets - Thailand and Cambodia

Posted by erinj on 19/11/2007 at 08:24

Destinations= Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Ao Nang, Phnom Penh, Angkor Wat/Siem Reap


My doctor said malaria tabs were not necessary, I insisted as we're going to stay on an Elephant Reserve near Chiang Mai and I don't want to take any chances. He said to start taking them 2 days before, and 1 week after returning.

My partners doctor gave him malaria tabs and told him he will *definitely* need them in Cambodia and to continue taking them one month after returning.

So.... who is right? What do you recommend?

#1 erinj has been a member since 3/8/2007. Posts: 12

Posted by somtam2000 on 19/11/2007 at 11:49 admin

Hey, I thought the last question was your last one ;-)

Sorry to keep sending you to feature stories, but there's a lot of info on Malaria in SE Asia in this story.

My advice is always an ounce to prevention beats a pound of cure (or that's what my grandma says anyway) -- in the case of malaria, unless you're going to a high risk area, preventative measures like using repellant, dressing wisely and using a mosquito net are a better idea than popping pills.

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,943
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Posted by jimsparadise on 19/11/2007 at 21:12

I'd rather have Malaria then take Malaria pills. That's the insider joke by the way, but some wisdom thru experience there. Dengue fever is more likely than Malaria. Get the absolute best (highest Deet %) mosquito repellant--use it generously, and you will have no problem in places you listed. Proper clothing and nets help as already stated.

#3 jimsparadise has been a member since 25/11/2006. Posts: 30

Posted by Yun on 23/11/2007 at 12:58

Best website to read for any country is:

To quote them:
- Malaria risk area in Thailand: Risk in rural areas that border Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar (Burma). Very limited risk in Phang Nga and Phuket therefore prophylaxis is not recommended for these two areas. No risk in cities and in major tourist resorts. No risk in Bangkok, Chiang Main, Chiang Rai, Pattaya, Ko Samui, and Ko Phangan. (Updated September 19, 2007)

- Malaria risk area in Cambodia: Risk throughout the country, including risk in the temple complex at Angkor Wat. No risk in Phnom Penh and around Lake Tonle Sap.

For me, I'm spending 1 day in Angkor out of a 14 day trip. 4 weeks of antimalarials isn't worth the risk of 1 day. But it's up to you.

If you "don't want to take any chances" then take the pills. Be aware that every one has potential side-effects, most commonly nausea and extra-sensitivity to sunlight (which is bad in these hot sunny places as you can imagine)

#4 Yun has been a member since 18/8/2007. Posts: 25

Posted by ChangFai on 25/11/2007 at 12:43

Personally I have only taken anti malaria pills once , and they are not for me .

All the advice above is good , but also think about taking some Vitamin B pills as well .

I laughed this off for years as some old wives myth , but eventually I gave it a try and amazingly it worked for me .

For the first time in my life I am not the one being attacked among my travelling companions , which I am highly enjoying .

#5 ChangFai has been a member since 10/4/2007. Location: Thailand. Posts: 139

Posted by Yun on 25/11/2007 at 13:02

ChangFai can you clarify - taking Vit B pills for what exactly; do you mean to help with antimalarial pill side effects, or do you mean to use them as antimalarials?

#6 Yun has been a member since 18/8/2007. Posts: 25

Posted by ChangFai on 27/11/2007 at 12:20

Neither , for some reason Mossies dont like the taste of Vitamin B1 . I have heard similar things said about Marmite .

Now if you search around the net you will find studies saying yes it works and others saying its complete rubbish .

Now I am still as skeptical as ever , but since taking B1 while travelling I have gone from someone that got attacked on a regular basis to not getting bitten at all .

Who Knows ? , but I will continue to take them .

#7 ChangFai has been a member since 10/4/2007. Location: Thailand. Posts: 139

Posted by erinj on 29/11/2007 at 05:43

Thanks for the replies :)

#8 erinj has been a member since 3/8/2007. Posts: 12

Posted by Canadiana2007 on 30/11/2007 at 20:13

p.s. the reason for the different dosages would be because the two Drs. prescribed different forms of the anti-malarials. One type you only need for one week after, a different type needs a full month after (I think we saw the Dr. 4 times about this before we left!)

#9 Canadiana2007 has been a member since 30/11/2007. Posts: 2

Posted by thecanuck on 1/12/2007 at 12:12

Hi I spent 5 weeks in Thailand in 06, hired a driver and van, went from Chiang Mai, to Burma, Laos border, all around in the north, then drove all the way to Phuket, and never had a problem with any Malaria, none of our party even really got bit by mossies, so wouldn't recommend anti malaria pills, but as the other posters said, its your skin that will come off. Cheers D

#10 thecanuck has been a member since 30/11/2007. Posts: 1

Posted by Guernseystu on 18/12/2007 at 15:41

I never take malaria pills, not because of any side-affects but because I just don't see them as being necessary. As has been suggested already a wee bit of common sense goes a long way so dress appropriately. Also, when sleeping, ensure that your room has either a mosquito net or a fan - one or both of these will really help to keep the mossies away.

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

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