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Can you get Malarone malaria tabs in Bangkok?

Posted by rhymeandreason on 1/10/2008 at 15:53

Starting in Thailand, then heading to malaria hotspots of Cambodia and Laos. We've been recommended Malarone (mozzies resistant to other meds there!) but you have to get a private prescription and tabs are nearly £3 each in UK.

Anyone know if Malarone is available in Bangkok yet? (I hear there's a Boots in Khoa San Road!!) - and do we need prescription or is it just over the counter?

cheers, R&R

#1 rhymeandreason has been a member since 31/8/2008. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 8

Posted by packtoofull on 1/10/2008 at 17:37

You can read more about malaria in the region in the following story:

Generic malarials can be bought cheaply in Bangkok, but you need to check (read story above) that you actually really need to take them.

#2 packtoofull has been a member since 16/5/2007. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 39

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Posted by rhymeandreason on 1/10/2008 at 20:06

thanks Packtoofull - i did read that feature and it was v. useful, but my friend is keen to take the tabs even though I understand prevention is best approach -my doctor seemed clued up and recommended them as we're both prone to getting bitten! (I've had loads of mozzie bites this summer in England!!)

When you say generic malarials, does that mean Atovaquone/proguanil (GSK brand - Malarone) is available in Bangkok generically? I know it wasn't about a year ago.


#3 rhymeandreason has been a member since 31/8/2008. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 8

Posted by SBE on 1/10/2008 at 21:47

Malarone is not available at all in Bangkok. Generic doxycycline is available very cheaply though and there's no resistance to that as long as you take it according to the instructions. It's effective as prophylaxis but not as a treatment. Check out the side effects though and bear in mind you have to continue taking it for a month after you get home.

Many people buy expensive Malarone pills for SE Asia and then discover you don't actually need anti-malarials there. Non of the expats I know take them (and that includes a doctor working in a Burmese refugee camp).

Has your doctor done much travelling in SE Asia himself? Has he mentioned the Dengue risk?

#4 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,052
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Posted by Rufus on 7/10/2008 at 13:48

Malaria hotspots of Laos?! Where in Laos are you travelling. I have lived here for sometime and neither I nor any expat i know takes malaria prophylactics. Most doctors have absolutely no idea what they are talking about unless they are specialists in tropical medicine.
Dengue fever is a far greater risk.

#5 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 978
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Posted by rhymeandreason on 7/10/2008 at 15:50

Thanks for your replies. The nurse in the travel clinic here said Laos and Cambodia were malarial even though Thailand isn't. Having looked at it quite thoroughly now and been given very forthright advice here (!!) I've reached the conclusion that the whole Malarone thing seems a money-making little number from the drug industry... and you're right, Dengue fever barely gets a mention when it is clearly a bigger threat... so I won't be sleeping naked in that swamp after all!

#6 rhymeandreason has been a member since 31/8/2008. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 8

Posted by Rufus on 8/10/2008 at 07:59

Good idea to get HepA and HepB though, and cover up with a light long sleeved shirt in the evenings.

#7 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 978
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Posted by Gorey on 8/10/2008 at 20:17

i bought malarone once when going to south east asia, its was all prescribed by my docter and when i went to the chemist the general assisstant (who has enough medical education to give you general advice) talking to me about it said it was ridiculas and i would only be passing through a malarial zone during 2 days and the docter and prescribed me a 72 day course of malarone costing around £200.

on another trip when i went to get some vaccination top ups the nurse checked her little malaria map on the wall i tol dher i was visiting viangchan and her colour coded map told her laos is malarial and i would need a malarone prescription, when i said i would be on the border with laos for quite some time where i wouldned need a prescription i asked if mosquitos obeyed international borders..

i got my free vaccinations and just take care from now on, plus i got quite bad side affects from doxycycline, but if your friend is still very keen to take something just in case go for the doxycycline from any watsons chemist, its very cheap and most people didnt seem to suffer from any side affects as i did, i say watsons mainly cause in my experience the staff speak the best english.

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

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