Text page

Health and safety

Health and safety forum

Are Malaria pills that important?

Posted by yayo12 on 21/6/2007 at 20:56


I recently started another thread asking about my itinerary, if it sounded feasible and some other key suggestions. I have kept reading more information, and I am a little bit confuse about how important are Malaria pills for the regions and cities i'll be visiting.

I know Malaria is not something you should play on, and that its a very serious disease, but I live in Mexico and have been having lots of trouble finding Malarone pills. So i dont know where could i buy them during my trip, and if they are that important.
I'll be visiting, Thailand, Cambodia (SR, PP and Battambag mainly) Vietnam (HCMC, Mui Ne, DalaT, Nha Trang, Hue, Hoi An, Hanoi and Halong Bay), Laos (Vientiane, VV, LP and the border with Thailand)

What do u suggest? I dont know if i can find them at the LA Airport (my only stop in the US) and so far I have read, I think i can not find them in SEA, so i dont know what to do.

I also read about some other pills one that makes you photosensitive and the other that gets you very high (hahahaha) neither of them are good options for me, cause I get sunburn really easily and I'm not very interested in getting bad dreams.

I would appreciate any advise in this matter,


#1 yayo12 has been a member since 19/6/2007. Posts: 8

Posted by somtam2000 on 22/6/2007 at 07:41 admin

Hi yayo,

You're probably best talking to a travel doctor about this, but in my opinion (and I'm no doctor) is not to bother with them at all. Instead use a mosquito net, apply DEET repellent and dress sensibly (long sleeves and pants at dawn and dusk).

Generic malarials can be easily purchased in Bangkok and at a fraction of what you'd pay in the US.

A more likely risk is Dengue Fever which is also mosquito-borne and for which there is no protection other than the practices outlined above.

Hope that helps

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,062

Posted by yayo12 on 22/6/2007 at 08:53


Once again thanks so much for your help and advice. One last thing, as i said my beautiful and beloved country doesnt sell Malarone pills, and I've been having trouble finding good Deet repellent as well as Permithrin insecticide.
Can I find and buy (at a reasonable price) these products in Bangkok?? Same as a mosquito net?


#3 yayo12 has been a member since 19/6/2007. Posts: 8

Posted by exacto on 23/6/2007 at 09:57

hey yayo,

i definitely agree with somtam on his approach to this. whether or not you choose to take anti-malarials is a personal choice and entirely up to the individual. i know that i never have, however, because i think the risk of the drugs is greater than the risk of getting malaria. i've lived in thailand for a sum total of over 6 years and have never had a problem or know anyone who has had a problem with malaria. plus, particularly for thailand, unless you are really getting into some serious rural area, you won't even be at risk for malaria. laos does have a greater risk. you can check with the center for disease control website for specifics about where in laos there is a risk.

whether you choose to take the anti-malarials or not, be sure to follow somtam's advice by using a good bug spray and covering up, particularly at dawn and dusk. like somtam says, dengue fever is also a mossie-borne illness and the anti-malarials won't help at all with that.

the deet repellents as well as non-deet based sprays are available at drug stores and 7-11 style convenience shops throughout thailand. it is a good idea to stock up in bangkok while you are there. we found the sprays in laos and cambodia too at prices only slightly higher. our favorite was a spray called skeetoleen.

i hope that helps. have a good trip. cheers.

#4 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,809

Posted by yayo12 on 24/6/2007 at 03:57

Thanks so much for your advice guys. I really appreciate it!

Do u know if I can find Permithrin in Kuala Lumpur?? (thats my port of entry to SEA) I just cant find that product in Mexico.

#5 yayo12 has been a member since 19/6/2007. Posts: 8

Posted by nugsy on 24/6/2007 at 19:16

During visits to Cambodia/Laos/Vietnam I've taken either Malarone or Doxycyclin (the one that makes your skin more sensitive to the sun). I'd agree with exacto that Laos probably has the greatest malaria risk. Bear in mind that no matter how careful you are with DEET etc you will still be bitten many times. A friend of my caught Malaria in Laos three years ago and was seriously ill. Personally, I'd rather take Doxycyclin and reduce the risk. You can buy it cheaply in Bangkok.


#6 nugsy has been a member since 15/11/2005. Posts: 1

Posted by bindergarten on 4/7/2007 at 02:22

I'm traveling to Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand in September and have been debating this question myself. Someone who has been living in Vietnam for 17 years and does not take any sort of Malaria meds suggested the following to prevent getting bitten:
-take a daily double-dose of vitamin B (the mossies don't like the smell your body produces then)
-bring along Deep Woods Spray (or something with Deet in it) or Sufekka
-wash feet daily and change into fresh socks each night
Just thought I'd share the advice...

#7 bindergarten has been a member since 2/7/2007. Posts: 2

Posted by maleewan_th on 4/7/2007 at 10:23

don't need to take a malaria pill just sleep in moisquito net and fan on during you sleep or sit and run away from house in this time 6 pm - 8 pm just take bik or walking 'cause this time is time for moisquito dinner (eat your blood) ....take a medicine is always problem......From Wan

#8 maleewan_th has been a member since 13/5/2007. Posts: 7

Posted by traceej on 1/2/2008 at 08:20

I don't know if it's possible to buy 'bushmans' repellant in SE Asia, but you can buy it here in Australia. It is absolutely my first choice. I was in Borneo for a month and had 1 mosquito bite the entire trip. It's very potent stuff though and prolonged use is not recommended, but I will definitely be taking a few tubes to Cambodia and Laos with me in June.
I have had a reaction to Malaria pills previously and my travel doctor even agreed it would be much better to practice safe mosi procedures instead.


#9 traceej has been a member since 30/1/2008. Posts: 16

Please login to add your reply

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