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Can anyone tell me just how effective garlic pills and vitamin B1 are for tackling malaria. Also how long its safe to take these pills for, what kind of dosage and which brand of garlic pills people have used. Also, is it an uneccasary precaution to take malaria treatments with you on your bike so you can treat yourself if you get the disease and not worry about local medical competence(im going to africa). Cheers for any help,
As far as my knowledge goes vit B1 and garlic will not protect you against Malaria. The 'say' musquitos don't like garlic and B1 in your blood. So it is supposed to keep the carriers of the disease away from you. But wouldn't believe it.
If you wan't protection against Malaria do some research on Malaria pills and take those. Malaria is a disease you don't wanno get. It goes from mild to severe and can be lethal. Also changes are you'll keep having malaria-outburst for the rest of your life.
I'd take true precautions against the disease (Malaria pills). The garlic and B1 might help avoid some itchy bites and that's it.
Check wich pills you should take for the area you are going to.
Sure there are other folks on this forum who know a lot more about this than me.
As said there is NO evidence that garlic pills or B1 vitamin privides any protection against malaria. Malaria is a very dangerous and deadly disease, and for this reason you shouldn't bank your life on hearsay knowledge. Go to a travel or tropical diseases clinic and get medical advice. This is your best option.
I live in Ontario, Canada, where we have tons of mosquitoes in the summer, and I eat a lot of garlic. I still get bitten hundreds of times while camping or hiking in the forest. Maybe a few hundred less times than if I didn't eat garlic, but I still get bitten. For Malaria, all that is needed, is one infected mosquito. (Btw, here in North America there is no endemic Malaria, though we are starting to see the spread of West Nile virus, which is something totally different).
To tackle Malaria, get medical advice.
I've lived in East Africa for 8 years and suffered from malaria once. It was enough. Having said that I still urge you not to take the pills! I've been back to Tanzania for 1-2 month trips every year for the past few years and have seen the nasty effects of anti-malaria drugs first hand.
The worst is Larium (issued by the US Peace Corps, and recommended by most doctors in the states who are clueless when it comes to tropical diseases). If there were a bonus to Larium it is that you take it once a week and it is said to be 90% effective. However the side effects (prevalent in most users) extremely vivid nightmares and halucinations and many, many more.
Your other options are Chloraquine which is said to be about 60% effective (taken more regularly - forgot the exact regiment). And there is also Paliadrin, very ineffective but often mixed with the dosage of Chloraquine. I followed this perscirption once when traveling in mosquito infested area.
There is said to be a great med. out there but the doctors are hesitant to release it as they fear partial distribution will simply create a new more resistant strain in mosquitos. (Darwin's 'theory' works with malaria and mosquito's too). Does anyon have info on this drug?
All in all, the most effective way to prevent malaria is use mosquito repellant. (Especially at dawn and dusk when those little buggers are most active).
One last thing, as a back up plan, buy some of the drugs used to cure it, if you get it, in Africa. It is over the counter which means cheaper and quicker.
Hope this helps, if you have any questions i'll try to help.... I'm not even close to a doctor but have a bit of experience dealing with this.
[This message has been edited by Poa (edited 28 January 2003).]
[This message has been edited by Poa (edited 28 January 2003).]
<font face="" size="2">"However the side effects (prevalent in most users) extremely vivid nightmares and halucinations and many, many more."</font>
Poa, I'd really like to see the statistics you're quoting for Larium/mefloquine, because Health Canada's website takes a very different stance:
"For travellers to high risk areas, the risk of acquiring malaria and dying is significantly greater than the risk of experiencing a serious side-effect from
mefloquine. Over 11 million travellers have used mefloquine prophylaxis and severe reactions (seizure, psychosis) to this drug are rare (reported in 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 13,000 users). The great majority of mefloquine users (95-98%) have either no side effects or only mild or temporary ones.
Occasionally a traveller will develop a less severe but still troublesome neuropsychological reaction (e.g., anxiety, mood change) to mefloquine (1 in 250 to 500 users) requiring a change to an alternate drug. These reactions are almost always reversible. However, death from malaria is not.
At the present time, for high risk regions of the world, mefloquine is the most effective drug to prevent malaria. Alternatives typically offered to travellers to Africa to prevent malaria are significantly less effective and often more toxic than mefloquine, i.e., chloroquine, proguanil (Paludrine), amodiaquine, pyrimethamine plus sulfadoxine (Fansidar), pyrimethamine plus dapsone (Maloprim). Doxycycline is an effective alternative but may occasionally have troublesome side effects and must be taken each and every day in order to prevent malaria."
Malarone from Glaxo is the newer drug you are referring to, and I believe it is available in the UK and USA now.
I do agree with Poa's suggestion that prevention is necessary, from mosquito repellent to long sleeves and pants after sunset. But it is not sufficient, so you must find a malaria prophylaxis you can tolerate. If you are going to have a reaction to Larium you will have it within the first two weeks, which should be before you enter the affected area, and will give you enough time to change prophylaxis if need be. But definitely talk to your doctor about Malarone.
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I have commented on this subject (like Susan)and speaking first hand (7 times Malaria) it is no fun, definately when you get hit with Falciparum (sp?) strain. Now this was over a period of 8 years and I never took any type of preventative medicine be it commercially available (Doctors prescription) or over the counter (including 'herbal').
The school of thought was don't take anything to prevent malaria as it has been known to 'mask' the symptoms, I have observed this repeatedly, people go into denial because they beleive they are immune when they take preventative medicine, only to have Malaria! so it is better not to take anything and then self prescribe Primaquine (obtain this from your Doctor before going overseas).
If you still want to take a preventative, the common dosage is 150mg a day of Doxycyclinne (sp?), taken two weeks before you enter a malaria site and continue for at least two weeks after. Then, to be absolutly sure go on a eradication programme of Primmaquinne.
Well , I don't know if I've bored you or scared you, IMHO, just travel and be mindful of malaria then if you 'go down' take the Primaquinne.
The CDC (Center for Disease Control, US) lists Malarone, mefloquine (Lariam) and doxycycline as the three options for prevention of malaria when travelling to chloroquine-resistant areas. All the drugs and dosages for prophylaxis and self-treatment are listed on this page:
Malarone sounds good, and claims 98% effective in preventing malaria in clinical trials, but as y_kiwi points out, the price is very high.
Malarone is cheaper from online pharmacies in Canada (http://www.canadameds.com), but still about $4.30 US per pill, and it does need to be taken daily. Don't know what the UK price would be - maybe someone can find out?
From the same source, Larium/Mefloquine is available at US$5.40 per pill, BUT it is taken weekly, not daily. So that makes it about US$.77 per day, which is much more reasonable.
We have personally used Lariam on several different trips, spanning months at a time, with zero side effects. I found the following article very illuminating at the time, so I'll reprint the quote here:
<font face="" size="2">"In a double-blind study of the new anti-malarial Malarone, where the control group was taking Lariam, some people suffered crippling Lariam-like side effects - just from the belief that they were in the Lariam group." From the Telegraph, UK.</font>
In other words, FEAR of Lariam created the exact side effects that Lariam has been tarred with! Kind of the reverse effect of my faith in Vitamin C for warding off colds.
Doxycycline also looks like a good alternative, it is taken daily, but the pills are less than US$.50 each (same source as above), so even cheaper than mefloquine.
You also asked about self-treatment for malaria. Malarone (Atovaquone/proguanil) is recommended for self-treatment, BUT NOT if you are already taking it as a prophylaxis. In that case, the CDC suggests you should take Sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) (Fansidar). Fansidar is contraindicated if you have a sulfa allergy, and if you are travelling to an area with Fansidar resistance, you should consult your health care provider prior to travel.
Mefloquine is not recommended for self-treatment, because side effects are more common at the higher doses needed for treatment (vs. lower doses used for prophylaxis).
As usual, there are plenty of opinions on this topic, but each of us is responsible for our own health while travelling. Since the risk of contracting malaria on overland travel is significantly higher than on packaged holidays to popular tourist destinations, traveller beware!
[This message has been edited by Susan (edited 29 January 2003).]
I want to add one more item to the malaria issue. We all know that the malaria mosquito bites "between dusk and dawn". What we didn't know but learned from Alain --a friend who has been travelling for over 2 years in SE-Africa and who had to be treated several times for new malaria-infected bites by his friend-NGO doctor in Mozambique-- is that they're also active in sheltered areas during daytime. Anywhere where there is shadow.
And where do most people stay during the midday African heat ? ... Right.
I hope we'll never get it for it sounds very nasty.
------------------ Iris and Trui
2 belgian women, often travelling on motorbikes (now on DR650SE's)
2nd overland from home to Northern India and back, April-October 2002
I copied the following excerpt from the Canadian Investigative TV program the Fifth Estate. I also watched the program that was just aired last night.
From all reports taking Mefloquine is like putting a gun to your head and playing Russian roulette. There is no doctors or pharmacists in north america who can or will answer your questions giving you a definitive answer to any dangers of it’s side effects.
There is a big push to get this drug taken off the market at least in Canada. From the horrific stories related on the Fifth Estate program about normal people killing themselves or other people after taking this drug.
This, along with the astonishing report coming first hand from Canadian soldiers regarding the Somalian affair. This was the report where the killing of Somalian citizens was directly linked to the troops being administered Mefloquine.
This alone gives creedence to the fact you will never get a true answer from at least any Canadian government agencies medical or otherwize in regards to this drug.
In short ... don’t take it and I don’t care who tells you it’s safe to do so. As one molicular scientist stated on the program ... the drug is so complex they cannot test it properly and they have NO idea what all the side effects may or may not be.
The Nightmare Drug
For many years both soldiers and civilians have wondered whether the rumours about the anti-malaria drug Mefloquine were true. The word in the military in particular was that it triggered psychotic episodes, sometimes ending in suicide or murder. As evidence mounts that the drug may have serious side effects on more that "one in ten thousand" the fifth estate brings to light some shocking new cases of tourists and troops who were never the same after they took the Nightmare Drug.
Travelling to a Malaria-risk Zone?
Mefloquin is highly effective and convenient, and many doctors continue to prescribe it. If you are concerned, and have questions about possible side effects, the place to start is with your doctor or pharmacist.
There are other anti-malarial drugs available in Canada:
*Doxycycline, taken daily, was used by Australian troops in Afghanistan.
*Malarone is taken daily.
*Chloroquine is used in some cases, but there are some chloroquine-resistant areas.
A combination of chloroquine and a medication called proguanil was used by British troops in Afghanistan, and the U.S. Army, in co-operation with the Australia military, is working to develop a new anti-malaria drug called tafenoquine. Phase three of the clinical trials is due to take place in 2003.
[This message has been edited by Windwalker (edited 18 July 2003).]
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