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Malarone Vs Lariam

c2watkins
Level Contributor
68 posts
9 reviews
Malarone Vs Lariam

Hi all,

Going to Tanzania in Feb and our GP has advised that we either go with Malarone or Lariam malaria tablets.

I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with either. I've been reading up a bit and I've heard some stories of Lariam giving people terrible dreams and sleepless nights - has anyone experienced this? Malarone seems to be quite sideeffect free but the price is putting me off somewhat £2.20 a tablet is not going to be cheap for us both for just over two weeks.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Carolyn

Findlay, Ohio
Level Contributor
12,485 posts
8 reviews
1. Re: Malarone Vs Lariam

I use larium and have never had any side affects. What you might want to do is to try it and see if it affects you. I have only known one person to have difficulties with larium and I know a lot of people on malaria prophylaxis. He had some strange psychedelic nightmares so he discontinued using it and they went away.

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
39,787 posts
445 reviews
2. Re: Malarone Vs Lariam

I have been a Larium user for 15 or more years. No problems. Anne Robinson/Watchdog wrote some scare stories of psychological side effects which ended up as some sort of personal vendetta by the ginger one.

I never had any problems (still don't) until I met some chaps who mentioned "did I have any dreams". That night i did. It seems there is a psychosamatic effect in there somewhere but hey, I liked some of the dreams.

I have seen some bad side effects from Malarone such as UV sensitivity and even severe swellings of the mouth and lips. So much so that one sufferer could not eat. We took him off it and the swelling subsided in 24 hours.

As Karl says, consult your Medic and try one a week or so before you go.

Saint Paul...
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Serengeti National Park
Level Contributor
1,895 posts
7 reviews
3. Re: Malarone Vs Lariam

I took Larium weekly for 2 years and had one specifically crazy dream - but I survived somehow.

Out of the 25 people in my Peace Corps group, I think there were about 3 who had to switch off it because they couldn't handle the dreams. But we were all taking it over an extended period of time. I don't know if that played a role in having 3 with the side-effects.

I've never taken malarone and it wasn't available back then.

nyc
Level Contributor
15,087 posts
4. Re: Malarone Vs Lariam

I've used both, and though I didn't have major side-effect from Lariam but for interrupted sleep, my partner had the weirdest dreams.

When Malarone became available, started taking these with no side-effects whatsoever.

Cost was never an issue with either. If you've gotta take the meds, you've gotta and this should be considered when initially planning a trip to an infected area.

Problem as I see it with "testing" Lariam is that it's a "once-a-week" pill with long afterlife, and since you have to start taking them minimum 2/weeks before arriving in infected area (weekly while in-country, then 3-4/wks after leaving)... not sure whether 1/tab will do it.

Malarone on the otherhand, also has to be started before entering infected areas, by 2/days, then daily while in-country and for 7/days upon leaving infected area. It just might be easier trying Malarone.

Both meds should be taken with food; for Malarone they specifically mention with dairy products (milk, cheese, yougurt).

Best though to discuss with your physician based on your own health history. Whatever you decide, remember repellents on exposed skin (not face) and long pants/shirts, socks on feet between hours of dusk/dawn.

Montreal
Level Contributor
1,822 posts
162 reviews
5. Re: Malarone Vs Lariam

After reading this I'm confused and upset about which anti-malaria med to take. I had originally thought of taking Malarone because I didn't like the psychological side effects of Lariam.

In fact I was in India 25 years ago, taking some anti-malarial medication once a week there (I don't know if Larium was around then) and remember feeling that I had to leave my very nice boyfriend. I wonder now if that could have been due to side effects of paranoia and anxiety from medication, since I've had those same symptoms from oral contraceptives as well, maybe I am prone to those kind of symptoms.

Now I just read that Malarone needs to be taken with food and can cause stomach pain. My stomach is sensitive, and I can no longer tolerate Advil (even with food). The last time I tried Advil I had stomach pains for over a month, and had to take large doses of medication to finally stop the pain (that was just a few months ago).

I also have a tendency towards difficulty sleeping, in particular when traveling (jet lag), so I don't want to compound that with meds. On the other hand, I don't want to contract malaria.

We'll be in Tanzania in June, spending 3 nights total in Arusha (Outpost Lodge-so no AC), 2 nights in Marangu Village, and 1 night at Tarangire Safari Lodge and 1 night at Gibbs farm. The rest of the time will be on Mts. Meru and Kili, where I presume there won't be malarial inducing moskitos.

Any advice or suggestions?

Thanks,

Kay

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
39,787 posts
445 reviews
6. Re: Malarone Vs Lariam

Kay. You must consult your Medic and heed his/her advice. We on this forum can only speak of our own experiences.

If there is ANY history of mental health/pyschotic problems in your family you will not be prescribed Larium. From my experience in 15 years of Larium the main problem seems to be psychosematic/autosuggestion in that you expect it to do something and so it darn well does.

I do not think Larium was around 25 years ago and you most likely took Chloroquine which is no longer as effective. Malaria is a killer and is evolving resistance to drugs so the doseage is going up all the time.

Do not even consider not taking a prophylactic of some sort.

Both Malarone and Larium are best taken with food as you can wash them down with water/milk drink. I do this at breakfast time and then it is done. Night time is the time for stomach pains I am told.

You will/may be exposed to Mosquitoes in Arusha and all the way up to Gibbs Farm & Marangu. June is cooler so there should not be many but it only takes one infected one.

The best anti Mossy of all is of course not to get bitten in the first place so cover up arms and legs, particularly around ankles where Mrs Anopheles hunts. I am most definitely not a style guru so I tuck my pants into my socks. Then spray the socks with Deet or similar. It does not stop em but it sure slows em down.

And sleep under a good net.

You will be fine.

PS. Did you dump the Boyfriend in India? Do tell!

Ankeny, Iowa
Level Contributor
1,188 posts
37 reviews
7. Re: Malarone Vs Lariam

I have heard people mention using doxcycline which is an antibiotic. You could ask your travel physician about that as an alternative.

Saint Paul...
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Serengeti National Park
Level Contributor
1,895 posts
7 reviews
8. Re: Malarone Vs Lariam

Mfuwe gives great advice (for a change! just kidding!) and I would follow what he says.

I can only add that you might start taking one of them now to see if you'll have bad effects so you can get the other right away and try that one. If both give you terrible problems, then just maybe you'd consider either a third option (suggested by a doctor?) or ALL the other things diligently recommended to prevent mosquito bites in the first place. I do know an MD who never takes malarial prevention but rather she just does all those things to make sure no mosquitoes get her. Frankly, most of us think she is crazy, but it has worked for her so far... it's risky though.

nyc
Level Contributor
15,087 posts
9. Re: Malarone Vs Lariam

All meds, even aspirin can have side-effects.

While Lariam and Malarone are designed specifically for malaria, for those who can't take these, doxycyline, an antibiotic is often recommended. Though not specific for malaria, somehow might help. However, doxcy too can have side-effects for some, like sun sensitivity so you've got to use SPF on exposed skin, and for women maybe even Thrush (discharge), not something a woman would want to have to deal with when on holiday.

None seem to be perfect, but malaria is a nasty disease if contracted.

Regardless which, you still have to remember to cover up with long pants/sleeves and socks during mossie biting time between dusk-to-dawn. And use repellent on exposed skin (not face); wash off before retiring and sleep under mossie nets where provided. At those places where nets not provided, the room/tent can/should be sprayed when you're out to dinner (not on your bed linens) or the rooms/tents are sealed, tent have been treated with repellent.

Any treatment still has to be discussed with your physician.

Montreal
Level Contributor
1,822 posts
162 reviews
10. Re: Malarone Vs Lariam

Thanks for all your replies. Maybe I can take something to protect my stomach for the Malarone. I also want to take Diamox for altitude (which I need) so my medicine chest will be heavier than my hiking boots. I'll be dropping by at the local tropical disease clinic before our trip and hopefully get good advice.

Doxy is hard on the stomach too (where I work we give it to our patients and tell them to take it after a meal).

As for the boyfriend 25 years ago, yes he was dumped. Was a heart broken due to side effects of medications?? That's a whole other topic.

Kay