Doxycycline is a highly effective and affordable generic treatment for malaria. It is a broad spectrum antibiotic that can be used to prevent symptoms occurring during travel to high-risk areas. It prevents four different kinds of malaria parasites from spreading in the body, supporting the body’s natural immune system. Doxycycline can be taken at short notice (2 days beforehand) and treatment should continue throughout your travels and for 7 days afterwards.

This is a generic product, therefore depending on availability, the brand you receive may not be the same as the one pictured.

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What is Doxycycline?

Doxycycline is an effective broad-spectrum antibiotic which can be taken before, during and after a trip to an area of the world with a high risk of the malaria parasite. By significantly reducing the spread of infection, Doxycycline can allow the body’s defences to destroy the malaria parasite before it takes hold. The medication is effective against 4 different strands of the malaria parasite.

Doxycycline is available in a 100mg dose, and can be bought in quantities of 48, 56 and 64 doses. This will help you stay protected throughout the duration of your trip. The low dosage of Doxycycline means there is less likelihood of side effects occurring.

This medication should be used alongside other anti-malaria precautions, including using insect repellent, wearing loose long-sleeved clothing and making use of air conditioning, screen doors and mosquito nets.

How does Doxycycline work?

Malaria is a serious condition caused by the plasmodium parasite. Doxycycline prevents the plasmodium parasite from multiplying once it accesses the bloodstream. This leaves it vulnerable to the natural defences of your immune system, which can kill the parasite before it reaches the liver and causes long-term health problems. In order to stay alive, the malaria parasite needs to spread. Doxycycline stops this from happening and therefore stops the condition from taking hold and becoming more serious. In order to be fully effective, Doxycycline should be taken before, during and after your travels.

Benefits of Doxycycline

Doxycycline is a popular choice of anti-malaria medication, especially when compared to older treatments. This is partly because some strands of the malaria parasite have become resistant to the ingredient chloroquine, which is used in other treatments like Avloclor and Paludrine. Doxycycline can also be taken for longer than 28 days, which is not the case with many other malaria medications.

The fact that Doxycycline is a broad-spectrum antibiotic means that it can also be used to treat a range of other conditions, including bacterial infections like chlamydia, urethritis, ureaplasma, as well as UTIs, acne and bronchitis.

How to take Doxycycline

One 100mg Doxycycline tablet should be taken every day, starting from 2 days before you travel. You should continue to take one dose of the medication daily throughout your travels, and every day after your travels for the next 28 days when you return.

Try to take your tablet at around the same time every day for maximum effectiveness, and avoid crushing or chewing the tablets – swallow them whole instead. Doxycycline tablets can be taken with food and water.

Precautions and side effects

Doxycycline is highly effective as a small dose, and this helps to reduce the chances of any side effects occurring. However, as with all prescription medication there is a small risk of side effects occurring. These are usually mild, and may include nausea, itching, indigestion, skin rash, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, difficult swallowing and facial flushing.

Less common side effects include redness, irritation and difficulty breathing. If you experience any of the above side effects for more than 7 days you should seek out a doctor immediately. However, these are very unlikely to occur. Be sure to read the enclosed Patient Information Leaflet carefully before taking Doxycycline.

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