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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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  #1  
Old 29 Jan 2004
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Where to get Lariam in south america

Hi Guy,s and girls,

My suply of Lariam (mefoquine 250 mg) is low... and so, before heading into the Bolivian jungle... I,d like to update it... But...
Here (Bariloche, Argentina) they cost about 35 euro for 8 pills... That,s a lot

So... will it be cheaper in Brasil or Bolivia? Any ideas?

Maarten


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  #2  
Old 16 Mar 2004
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Larium is bad news. I used it when I worked in Nigeria six years ago and it has bad bad side effects. Go for Maleron - its a better drug with less side effects. I dont know where it can be purchased where you are going but its better to try and track it down. Wear long sleeves as much as possible and hopefully the mossies wont get you.
Rgds
Hugh
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  #3  
Old 18 Mar 2004
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Hi Hugh,

What do you mean Lariam is bad? I is the best halucive drug I have ever used... I could not live without the purple elephant that sings to me at night in my lonely hotelroom..

OK, seriously. I know about the side effects. I also know they ocure only in 1 on 1000 people... and I am not one of them. I have aken the stuff for almost a year in asia.

And... not to put you down.... Never ever take maleron if you have used lariam. It will not work anymore, they conflict.

Anyway... Thanks for the reply.

Maarten & the purple elephant

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  #4  
Old 18 Apr 2004
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you have taken Lariam for 1 year already???!!!!
I will never understand why anyone goes for a 100% certainty to damage their health by taking such drugs and be far from certain that they won't get malaria.
(and yes I have seen too many people getting malaria in spite of taking prophylaxes)
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  #5  
Old 19 Apr 2004
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Hi Marker,

I am not sure what you are trying to say... So maybe you can explain what you mean or why you reply.

Maarten


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  #6  
Old 20 Apr 2004
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Hi mmaarten.

Scenario 1: you do not take any Lariam or eq. and you do get malaria. You can take mefloquine or eq. depending where in the world you are as a medicine and after 24 very shitty hours you are well again. You have time to go and see a doctor and have him diagnose you if you dó need some further treatment.
Scenario 2 : you do take Lariam and do get malaria (very well possible, have seen many). The lariam/mefloquine cannot be used as a medicine.
So you can just hope there is a hospital very nearby(and someone who can take you there...)

Apart from this there is the fact that any malariaprophylaxae is bad news for your body. After some months (3 to 6 )it will have an irrepairable effect on some of the body systems(eyesight, or nervesystem or liver).

A myth is that 1 infected sting will already cause malaria. Your body can fight it too, even without the help of pills,although the breaking point is not as high but ofcourse this differs from person to person . Someone might be sick after 3 infected bites(and not every mosquito is infected!), others need maybe 2 dozen and there are lucky ones who are naturely immune ...
I figure that since the parasite settles in the liver, the thing to do is to have your liver as strong as possible. Alcolhol weakens the liver unfortunately...
I cut down on alcohol. Best would be zero, although I still take a small whisky or so when in malaria regions . I have spent more than a decade in malaria-risk-zones and take the normal precautions from dusk onwards(covering the body as much as possible, mosquitonet). Knockknockkncok I still never have had the disease.. Don't want to think what i would look like now if i would have been taking pills all those years... Even the people who travelled with me (when working as a tourguide) and who did the same thing never got malaria.(This is not a guarantee ofcourse!!!) But strange enough just those machos who swallowed after every night, who stayed in shorts "because we are protected by Lariam" were mainly the ones i have been driving to hospitals for a malariatreatment.
No mistake, I am sure that when you ánd take the 'natural precautions' ánd take lariam or so , the chance of getting malaria will even be smaller.
But personally, I prefer to take that smaller risk and nót willingly ruin my body by taking the prophylaxe.
I wonder when the pharmaceutical companies would be forced to cut down their huge profits on the production of the prophylaxae, if the medical western world would still be pushing everyone so much to take them?
Well to finalize i would like to add again that this is mý experience and what Í have followed for all the years. Going to the tropics (most) carries a risk, no matter what . But as i see it there are different risks...

wishing you many malariafree trips,

Marcel

[This message has been edited by marker (edited 19 April 2004).]

[This message has been edited by marker (edited 19 April 2004).]
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  #7  
Old 20 Apr 2004
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Hola Marcel,

The problem is... You are right. Any kind of drug is bad for your body... But there are two sides to the story... and it,s a complicated story.

There are many kinds of malaria... some are a nusence... some are deadly with in two days... and there is lots in the middle.

I am not a medical expert so I rely on what my doctor tells me (who has served in africa for many years).

Selftreatment of malaria can be done with Lariam... but you need to recognize the desease in time and this is the main problem... Malaria Tropicana can kill you before you realize you have it.

When I posted the request for Lariam in the first place I thought about just taking enaugh for treatment... but decided against it.

It,s a bit like a safetybelt in a car... You never can tell weather it saved you or not... but deadly casulty,s have dropped dramaticly after they became obligated...

I wish there was a easy awnser... but it remains a choice between bad and bad... Every one has to make it for him or herself...
I will not tell anyone else what to do and what not to do... That,s the job of his or her doctor.

But I do agree with you on the fact that Drugs are not good... and that aclohol and shorts in the jungle is plain stupid.

Thanks for your reply.
Maarten


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  #8  
Old 21 Apr 2004
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Hi Mmaarten,

Yes you're right. And it is very complex. Like in politics there will always be different opinions and it is hard to say which one is right
Problem is that doctors will always tell you to take the pills.... (seems the easiest and safest way for thém.if you dó get malaria than they cannot be blamed since they did everything possible... but if they would advise not to take anything and you wóuld get malaria you could blame thém.)Another thing to think about is that people who live in tropical regions(also the people who could afford it,and ex-pats) never take them, even those who do not live nearby hospitals.
Than what you say of not being able to diagnose the disease.
What I have seen is that when one does nót take the prophylaxae it is easier to diagnose malaria yourself. It comes in from 1 second to the other and hard! Wíth its typical symptoms.
Problem is bigger when you have been taking the pills. Than it comes in often slowly and disguised, e.g. like a normal cold or the flue.
O.k if you go to have a check for malaria every time you feel a bit ill, but really, I have seen too many cases of people who did not. Till of all a sudden they were totally dehydrated and/or unconscious.

cheers,

marcel


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  #9  
Old 15 May 2004
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Just another thought to add to this thread.

I carry quinine sulphate tablets for the treatment of malaria - this is what they will give you intravenously should the worst come to the worst. These are readily available and pretty cheap too in all malarial regions. Alternatively you can drink a couple of gallons of gin and tonic!

I am curently heading down through Central America and would be interested to hear about other anti-malarial precautions anyone is taking in South America.

Maybe see you on the road Maarten in the coming months (black AT with UK plates)

Cheers!

Matt
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  #10  
Old 14 Jul 2004
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Hiya fellas,

Just about to fly out of South America and can report that I took no anti malarials at all in the past year in the Americas. Bear in mind that I did not visit Brazil and did not head into the mosquito coast and the like.

Infact I prolly only spent 7 weeks in Central America in total. 4 Months in South America.

I`ve never percieved South America as a high risk area for Mozzies and the like, and I have based that on general chat to people that travel there, live there and GP`s in the UK....none of whom do any kind of jungle trekking.

My 2p worth.

Cheers,

Brian

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