Malaria Chemoprophylaxis

Malaria Chemoprophylaxis

Malaria is a life-threatening illness caused by the infection of red blood cells by parasites. The transmission of malaria to humans occurs through the bite of infected female mosquitoes. Malaria is not an infection which is found in the UK, however can be found in tropical or subtropic countries. If you believe you have been infected with malaria, it is crucial you contact your nearest emergency department, but if you are looking to travel in an area of the world with a risk of malaria, at rightangled you will find effective preventative medications.

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What is Malaria?

Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female mosquitoes. Nevertheless, it is preventable and curable.

People who get malaria are typically very sick with shaking chills, high fevers and flu-like symptoms. There were an estimated 627 ,000 malaria deaths and 241 million malaria cases in 2020. There are 5 parasite species that cause malaria in humans, however, P. falciparum and P. vivax species pose the greatest threat.


How is malaria transmitted?

Only female Anopheles mosquitoes can transmit malaria. When a mosquito bites an infected person, parasites enter that person's bloodstream and travel to the liver. When the parasites mature, they leave the liver and infect red blood cells. If a mosquito bites a person who has malaria, it can carry the infection and transmit the parasite to the next person it bites. The best way to prevent catching the disease is by avoiding insect bites and taking antimalarial tablets.

How to prevent malaria?

First, check the malaria risk for the country you're travelling to before you go. You will not be immune to malaria if you were born or lived in a high-risk country and now live in the UK. You can find more information on the risk of malaria in specific countries by clicking the following link: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

If you are travelling to a high-risk area where malaria is found, feel free to book a consultation with our prescribing pharmacist to provide you with appropriate travel health advise.

If you are prescribed antimalarial medicine, it is important to take them as directed. If you are entering a high-risk malaria area, always use insect repellent on your skin and make sure it's 50% DEET-based. You should wear long-sleeved clothing and avoid exposed arms and legs, particularly in the evening when mosquitos are most active. You could also try sleeping under mosquito nets treated with insecticide.

Who is most at risk?

There are people who are at higher risk of getting seriously ill from malaria. This includes: young children, elderly, pregnant women, people who have no spleen and people who have a weak immune system. In these cases, the doctor may prescribe anti-malarial medicines despite travelling to a low risk area.

Tell me more about Maloff Protect tablets

Maloff Protect contains two active ingredients, atovaquone and proguanil which are commonly used to prevent malaria. It works by killing the parasite that is passed from a mosquito bite into the bloodstream, preventing you from developing malaria.

Maloff Protect should be taken 1 or 2 days before you leave, at the same time once a day while you are away, and for 7 days after you leave the malaria area. The course must be completed to be effective. Stopping this medicine increases your risk of getting malaria as it takes 7 days to ensure that any parasites in your blood following a bite from an infected mosquito are killed.

Tell me more about Malarone 250mg/100mg tablets

Malarone is a prescription-only medicine. It contains two active ingredients, atovaquone and proguanil which are commonly used to prevent malaria. It works by killing the parasite that is passed from a mosquito bite into the bloodstream, preventing you from developing malaria.

Malarone should be taken 1 or 2 days before you leave, at the same time once a day while you are away, and for 7 days after you leave the malaria area. The course has to be completed to be effective. Stopping this medicine increases your risk of getting malaria as it takes 7 days to ensure that any parasites in your blood following a bite from an infected mosquito are killed.

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