We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Malaria medication - which to use?

London, United...
3 posts
Save Topic
Malaria medication - which to use?

Hi my friend and I are doing a 3 week trip visiting Guatemala, Belize (Caye Caulker for 2 days) and Mexico. We hblets and I have heard that these can have side effects as well so don't want to spendave bought Avloclor (chloroquine) tablets, which were only about £3.50 but I am worried about the side effects which can apparently include "some or complete loss of sight". Has anyone taken these and experienced bad side effects?

I could alternatively get malarone from the doctors but it would be a lot more expensive, about £100 in total for the supply of tablets and while I would happily pay this rather than experience horrible side effects of the other tablets, I have heard that malarone can also have bad side effects.

Can anyone give any advice? Thanks very much

The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
Level Contributor
12,632 posts
329 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Malaria medication - which to use?


Bethesda, MD
Level Contributor
2,980 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Malaria medication - which to use?

The risk is so low, I don't even bother with it anymore. I follow the CDC's other two recommendations:

Using insect repellent and wearing long pants and sleeves to prevent mosquito bites

Sleeping in air-conditioned or well-screened rooms or using bednets

Port Richey, Florida
Level Contributor
2,546 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Malaria medication - which to use?

I've been visiting guatemala for years and spending most of my time in the low land areas. And I've never taken or use anything to protect me from contracting malaria. Maybe my inmune system is different.

Our community is here to help!Ask questions, get advice and more from travellers like you.
Join TripAdvisor
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
1,049 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Malaria medication - which to use?

Your best choice is to consult with a clinical expert who can provide you with informed personal advice. Assuming that you have already exhausted that option, you should first determine whether you will be in an area that actually has malaria. There is reportedly no risk of contracting malaria for people visiting the islands of Belize and the higher elevations of Guatemala (i.e., above 1500 meters, including Antigua, Gaute City, and the Lake Atitlan area). There is minimal risk also for most of the arreas of Mexico that are visited by tourists. Check the US CDC link provided above or the corresponding link from the UK NHS [http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/travelhealth/Pages/Travellersillnesses.aspx#malaria] for more specific information.

If you will be visiting an area where malaria occurs, there is little risk of severe side effects associated with taking chloroquine for a short time to prevent malaria. The visual side effects have been an issue for persons using the drug for long periods (a year or more) and/or at very high doses, well beyond what is typically used for malaria prophylaxis in travellers. I can't see a reason to spend the additional money to purchase Malarone, since there is no chloroquine resistance reported for the countries that you plan to visit, you have to remember to take it every day, and the side-effect risk is not particularly better. A disadvantage of chloroquine is that it should be started a week before you risk exposure and should be continued for four weeks after you leave an at-risk area, but it's only one pill per week.

5. Re: Malaria medication - which to use?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 03 April 2014, 15:17