Friday, May 25, 2007

Risks and Special Precautions

Risks and Special Precautions

When drugs are given to prevent or cure malaria, the full course of treatment must be taken. No drug gives long term protection; a new course of treatment is needed for each journey.

Most of these drugs do not produce severe adverse effects, but Primaquine can cause the blood disorder haemolytic anaemia, particularly in people with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency. Blood tests are taken before treatment to identify susceptible individuals. Halofantrine can have an adverse effect on heart rhythm. Mefloquine is not prescribed for those who have had psychological disorders or convulsions.

Other Protective Measures

Because Plasmodium strains continually develop resistance to the available drugs, prevention using drugs is not absolutely reliable. Protection from mosquito bites is of the highest priority. Such protection includes the use of insect repellents, such as DEBT and mosquito nets impregnated with Permethrin insecticide, as well as covering any areas of exposed skin after dark.

Common Drugs

Artemether, Chloroquine, Doxycycline, Halofantrine, Mefloquine, Primaquine, Proguanil, Proguanil/Atovaquone (Malarone), Pyrimethamine/Dapsone (Malaprimj, Pyrimethamine/Sulphadoxine (Fansidar), Quinine.


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