Malarone is a fast-acting and effective treatment option for travellers wanting to avoid malaria while away. One of the main perks of choosing Malarone is that treatment can begin at short notice, just two days before your trip. Treatment stops one week after returning home. Compared to other treatments, this is a much shorter time span.

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What is Malarone?

Malarone is a highly effective combined treatment which can be used to protect you from malaria infection, including the highly dangerous plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite. The treatment takes effect through the use of two active ingredients – proguanil hydrochloride and atovaquone – which work by stopping the plasmodium falciparum parasite from multiplying in the body. They then kill the parasite before it reaches the liver.

This treatment can be used as a preventative method that should be taken before, during and after your travel. It should be used alongside certain anti-malarial precautions, including using insect repellent, wearing light and loose long-sleeved clothing and making use of air conditioning, screen doors and mosquito nets.

How does Malarone work?

Malaria is an extremely serious, even life-threatening condition. It is found in many countries around the world, mainly in tropical regions. These include Central and South America, large areas of Asia and Africa, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, some Pacific Islands and parts of the Middle East. It is not found in the UK. The condition is caused by 5 strands of a parasite called plasmodium, spread by female Anopheles mosquitos.

Medication like Malarone tackles this parasite head on. The two active ingredients affect enzymes within the malaria parasite that help it multiply. This stops the parasite from spreading and causing the disease’s symptoms. Your body’s immune system can then attack the virus and eventually kill it.

Benefits of Malarone

One of the most important benefits of choosing Malarone is that it can tackle the deadly p.falciparum parasite – a particularly dangerous strand of the plasmodium parasite not often covered by other, older anti-malaria treatments.

Malarone also provides significant protection against malaria with just a single daily dose, and does not have to be taken for as long as many other anti-malaria medications. This means that there is a lower risk of experiencing side effects when you choose Malarone. Even in areas where the malaria parasite has become chloroquine resistant – which includes most of Africa and South America – Malarone can provide effective coverage.

How to take Malarone

Malarone is available to be taken in a 100mg/250mg dosage. It is recommended that you take one Malarone tablet a day for two days before you travel. You should then continue to take one tablet daily throughout your entire stay. Carry on taking one tablet a day for at least seven days after your return.

Long term treatment with Malarone is not advised, so you should consult your doctor if your holiday is going to last more than 28 days. Eating and drinking a milky beverage can help increase the treatment’s effectiveness, and it will be absorbed into your bloodstream faster.

Precautions and side effects

It is recommended that you do not take Malarone if you are allergic to any of the active ingredients, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, if you have severe kidney disease or weigh less than 40kg. If you are currently taking any other prescription medication, consult your doctor before use. Malarone can only be bought by adults aged 18 and over, though it can be used by children.

Most people can tolerate Malarone without issue. However, there is a risk of side effects including headaches, nausea, swollen lips and itching. Less common side effects can include hallucinations, hepatitis, cholestasis, vasculitis, panic attacks and hair loss. These are very unlikely to occur. If any of these side effects occur and persist, seek out medical support immediately.

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