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How Do I Choose the Best Antimalarial Medication?

By Erik J.J. Goserud
Updated May 17, 2024
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Antimalarial medication can be a very effective mechanism to fight the potentially tragic implications of malaria. These medications are marketed in many different forms and are usually presented in one of two forms: preventative or postexposure treatments. If you want to choose the best antimalarial medication, listen to your doctor or health care professional. Additionally, consider price and risk within the area in which you live or are traveling to. Also, thinking about how you typically react to medicines of this nature could be useful.

Malaria is a disease that is generally transferred through mosquitoes. This does not mean that all areas of high mosquito populations are at risk of malaria, and it also does not mean malaria cannot exist in unusual settings. Many travel health care professionals have put forth their efforts in identifying at-risk areas and labeling the severity of risk. This helps other medical professionals determine when and where medications for malaria are needed.

One of the most effective forms of antimalarial medication is prevention. This can occur by avoiding high-risk areas. If such regions cannot be avoided, mosquito nets are effective in preventing the bites that are to blame for the spread of this disease. Another option is a more conventional type of medicine, an oral pill.

If preventative measures are not taken and malaria is contracted, there is still a way to combat the effects through medical intervention. Basically, antimalarial medication comes in up to six forms. Oftentimes, due to the resistance of malaria, these medications are consumed in combinations or a staggered fashion, working to attack this parasite from all angles.

The most typical types of malarial medications used include doxycylcine, chloroquine, and mefloquine. Also used are atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride, usually delivered in combination form. Of the many types of antimalarial medication, chloroquine is the most adept at attacking the parasite after it has manifested itself in a human host. The others are usually used in a preventative fashion.

The signs and symptoms of malaria vary case by case but are likely to include a number of discomforts. Among these are extreme nausea including vomiting and diarrhea, severe fever, joint pain, and jaundice. To combat these effects, it's necessary to choose the best type of medication. Your doctor or travel medicine adviser is the best source to utilize regarding this matter.

Thinking about insurance costs or out-of-pocket expenses is extremely important before a decision is made about your medication. Many insurance plans do not cover such expenses due to the fact that traveling is considered leisure and not necessary. If an area is very high risk, it's probably best to take preventative measures and choose a medication that corresponds to this decision. A moderate or low-risk area may warrant a rolling of the dice and saving money on a generic or cheaper brand that only needs to be taken after exposure.

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