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Staying Healthy on the Road Medical info, e.g. malaria, vaccinations, travel medical tips, medical insurance, where to find a doctor.
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Old 30 Jan 2003
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Malarone, Larium etc availability in South America?

From looking at the posts, it looks like Malarone is the malaria drug for me (I will be checking with the tropical disease center in Denver and reporting back). However I assume it is expensive in US and cheap (if available) in South America. I'm starting in Argentina, then going to Brazil and up the amazon. Can I get the good stuff in Brazil? What is it called there? If not Malarone, then Larium (I've taken it with only wierd dreams as side effect)
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Old 20 Feb 2003
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I just came back from my travel clinic and I believe that Malarone (Malarone is known at atovaquone-proguanil) is quite expensive (something like >$5 a pill and you need one a day). They also didn't endorse it as a preventative measure.
This link http://mosquito.who.int/cmc_upload/0...923/am_toc.htm contains a lot of information and it seems that Malarone is usually recommended as a treatment and not a prophylaxis. In any case consult with your physician at the travel clinic. The document also says that Malarone might not be available commercially in endemic countries, though it might exist for treatment, specially where the malaria variant P. falciparum is resistent to Chloroquine and/or Mefloquine (Lariam), and this does not appear to be all over South America. The website http://www.who.int/ith/chapter07_07.html#14 contains the most recent information about malaria incidence and recommended prophylaxis and treatment.
Malaria is caused by 4 species of parasites. You'll see mentions of P. vivax and P. falciparum. These are the names of two of those species. The worst type (and dangerous) of Malaria is P. falciparum. It is also the one that is more widespread resistant to drugs, namely Chloroquine and in some areas even Mefloquine. The bottom line, if an area doesn't have P. falciparum risk, then Chloroquine or a combination might be the drug of choice (P. vivax has some Chloroquine resistance in some areas).
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