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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 5 Feb 2008
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Cost of Antimalarials

Getting ready for the Americas and the costs involved for antimalarial drugs is surprising.

We have decided to use Doxycycline, in the UK the cost of a 100mg capsule varies from 14p (0.28 USD) up to 75p (1.50 USD) per capsule. The cost in the USA looks to be higher.
If we could get them in Mexico it would save carrying them around for 4 months before we need them. Does anyone know what the cost and availability is in Mexico, can they be had over the counter or do you need a doctor’s prescription.

A tip I picked up searching the www, because of the side effects of antimalarial drugs it is worth trying a short course, before you leave home, or buy a huge quantity, or was this obvious to everyone but me.

Steve
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Old 5 Feb 2008
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antimalarial and other drugs

Steve,

can´t speak for Mexico but for rest of south america.
Doxyxycline is widely available and very cheap. We bought a big bunch in Ecuador (due to a very nasty food poisoning and infection) and were very cheap. You do not need any prescription to buy antibiotics in South America (Except Chile where they are starting to regulate to avoid people to self medicate).
I bought also general antibiotics and my husband takes medecines for high blood pressure. All these were incredibly cheaper than in the UK. For the high blood pressure, as much as 10 time cheaper than in the UK. WE asked our GP in the UK why, and it seems that the NHS in beeing ripped off by too many middle men!!

Also regarding malaria, it is better to check (With farmacists), when you are in risk countries, if you really need it, and if what you plan to take is the best choice. They would know better. We went all around south america (starting from colombia) but never went near the Amazon basin. By asking in farmacies, I was able to decide if I should take treatment or not. Remember, you cannot Doxycycline more than 4 months in a row. It´s an antibiotic, not a good idea.
In term of safety about those medecines, I was warned by a GP in Ecuador to be careful were we bought medicines in Bolivia ands Peru (lots of fakes). In Bolivia, following another bout of severe food poisoning, and with cholera being a risk there, we had more antibiotics prescribed in Cochabamba. Try to get medecine from reputable farmacies or hostpitals in these countries. .
Dont worry too much, farmacies around here always provide good info on malaria risk and a consultation with a GP is very cheap.
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Old 5 Feb 2008
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Maria,
Thanks for the info, I have seen your other posts regarding antimalarial medication.
I was getting some shots yesterday and enquired about AM drugs and I asked the question about Doxycycline time scale and the fact it is antibiotic. We were told it could be taken indefinitely and that you don't build up an antibiotic resistance.
I don’t plan to take it longer than necessary, the grouping of the problem areas in central and south America means we will need about 3 months worth.

Many years ago we took a supply of chloroquine on a trip. When we came to use them they had turn to dust due to the vibrations on bad roads. The Doxycycline are capsules which should avoid this problem.

Sorry to hear about your accident, I think the tour company is 100 percent accountable. I don’t know where they are based but go after them to cover your losses. Thankfully you where not badly hurt, but I can see from the damage it was a heavy impact.

Steve
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Old 6 Feb 2008
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Doxy

I've taken Malarone before for 3weeks without any side effects but it's expensive. They say not to take it for more than 4weeks but I would gladly have taken it for my longer trip if I could have afforded it.

Just got back from UK to Cape Town using Doxy and not had any problems so far. Took it for about 3months (just in the wind-down period now) and not had any issues.

I would use it again [if still applicable to the strains of disease in the areas for a next trip] and for a similar period of up to 4 months or so.
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Old 6 Feb 2008
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Originally Posted by edteamslr View Post
I've taken Malarone before for 3weeks without any side effects but it's expensive. They say not to take it for more than 4weeks but I would gladly have taken it for my longer trip if I could have afforded it.

Just got back from UK to Cape Town using Doxy and not had any problems so far. Took it for about 3months (just in the wind-down period now) and not had any issues.

I would use it again [if still applicable to the strains of disease in the areas for a next trip] and for a similar period of up to 4 months or so.
I have not been able to clarify the length of time you can take Malarone. In the UK it is licensed for 28 days which is not the same as, “you can only take it for 28 days”, it means it has only been tested up to 28 days for a dose and can only be prescribed for 28 days. Other parts of the world see it different. I have been told it is OK for extended use up to 90 days if you can get hold of it. If you want to take it longer get some medical advice. Malarone is about 5 times more expensive than Doxy so for an extended trip doxy is my choice.

Steve
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Old 6 Feb 2008
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Doxy is a cheap and good choice for south america. You can buy it locally and is much cheaper than Europe. Hence no need to carry 20 million tablets in your panniers!

Steve I have something on the back burner, re my crash. Can´t say anything now but once it is resolved should be hilarious story to tell!
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Old 8 Feb 2008
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Doxycycline is prescribed for acne for year(s) at a time, there is no 4 month rule; and it is much safer than mefloquin. I believe it can be purchased at Walmart in the US for $4/month, with a prescription of course.
Before disagreeing with me look at my profile.

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Old 8 Feb 2008
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Originally Posted by m37charlie View Post
Doxycycline is prescribed for acne for year(s) at a time, there is no 4 month rule; and it is much safer than mefloquin. I believe it can be purchased at Walmart in the US for $4/month, with a prescription of course.
Before disagreeing with me look at my profile.
Charlie
Hi Charlie,
I thought from your challenge you were going to be either a Walmart Manager or kick boxing champion.

How much does a private prescription cost in the USA.

Steve
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Old 8 Feb 2008
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As mentioned cheap generic meds can be as little as $4/month at Walmart/Sam's (I hate what they are doing to our trade deficit with China and also with smaller retailers but they are cheap), and also very low at Costco (not everything sold at Costco is made in China!).
At a smaller retail pharmacy #100 doxycycline 100mg could be as much as $20. Wholesale the stuff costs virtually nothing.
Seeing an MD to get an Rx can cost variable amts up to $100 or even more depending on location. Natuarally I would go very low on HUBB members if they saw me (in Alaska!). But Dr fees generally are high in the US and even more so in Alaska.

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