Each tablet contains 250mg of atovaquone and 100mg of proguanil. The prescribed amount for the prevention of malaria may be one tablet per day for a specified period; whereas for the treatment of active malaria, this may be one dose of four tablets a day for three days.
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Malarone is an antimalarial drug, which can be used to either medicate the disease while it is active, or prevent an infection from starting. The manufacturers of Malarone are GlaxoSmithKline, and thanks to its combination of two active ingredients, the treatment is adept at combatting more resilient strains of the disease.
- Efficient at fighting resilient strains
- Branded treatment
- Take one tablet a day for prevention
Malaria is a condition caused by the plasmodium parasite, of which there are four different types. Of the four, plasmodium falciparum malaria is the most deadly, and the variety which Malarone is intended to treat. The parasite is transferred to humans through mosquito bites, and establishes itself in the body by taking over cells in the bloodstream.
Once it has spread to a sufficient degree, symptoms begin to appear; usually after a period of 7-18 days, but this may be longer. These may include diarrhoea, fever and headaches at first. However, serious cases can result in organ failure, and even prove fatal. For this reason, the prevention and treatment of malaria for those travelling to regions where the disease is present should be taken very seriously.
It is estimated that approximately 200 million people worldwide will become infected with the disease, and that two thirds of a million of these will result in death; making malaria one of the world’s most dangerous conditions. During the planning stages of your trip, it is important to find out about the presence of malaria in the place you are visiting, so that you can take the appropriate treatment.
The active constituents in Malarone are proguanil and atovaquone. They prevent the parasite from reproducing in the body by inhibiting its capacity to generate a self-sustaining enzyme. This enzyme, which is called dihydrofolate reductase, enables the parasite to copy itself through the development of new DNA material. By blocking the production of this substance, Malarone weakens the parasite. This then leaves it open to the attack from the immune system, which deals with what remains of the parasite.
Because there are numerous different malaria strains, and some have developed a resistance to medication, you will need to check which preventative treatment you should take, well in advance of travel. Different products are advised for different regions. Talk to your GP or your travel clinic for specific guidance.
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How to use Malarone
Always make sure you follow the directions your prescribed has issued to you, and read the patient information leaflet prior to use. This will help to minimise the risk of side effects and increase the effectiveness of the drug.
- Administer as directed by your prescriber.
- For the prevention of malaria, this might be one tablet taken once a day.
- The course should commence 1-2 days before travel and continue throughout.
- Treatment should be continued for 7 days following return from an infected area.
- For the treatment of the disease while active, 4 tablets once a day for three days may be the prescribed dose. In this case, however, self-treatment is not an option and hospital admission will be necessary.
- Swallow tablets whole with food or a milky drink where possible.
- Take Malarone at the same time each day.
- Do not take more than advised by your prescriber.
- If you miss a dose, you should not double up on your next one, but do contact your doctor for advice on what to do next.
These instructions are intended only as a guide, and do not constitute detailed directions. Refer to the leaflet supplied prior to using this medicine.
Download Malarone patient information leaflet
Malarone side effects
If you notice any signs of an allergic reaction, skin rash with blisters, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, or any other side effects which concern you, contact your doctor right away.
Very common (1 in 10 people or more):
Diarrhoea, headache, nausea and vomiting, stomach pain.
Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Dizziness, sleeping problems, depression, loss of appetite, fever, rash, or cough.
Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):
Anxiety, irregular heartbeat, swelling and redness of the mouth, or hair loss.
Rare (1 in 1,000 people or less):
Seeing or hearing things which are not there.
This is not a comprehensive list of the side effects this product may cause. A more detailed account can be located in the patient information leaflet.
Taking it with other medicines
Tell your prescriber if you are taking any other medicines during consultation. Malarone may affect the function of or be compromised by the following treatments: metoclopramide; antibiotics such as tetracycline, rifampicin and rifabutin; efavirenz or other medications for HIV; warfarin and other blood thinning agents; or etoposide.
Conditions to look out for
Disclose your medical history to your prescriber before use. Malarone may not be suitable for you if you have ever had kidney disease.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding, speak to your doctor before taking this medication and prior to travel.
Patients must not breastfeed while taking Malarone.
Driving and using machinery
Some people may experience dizziness while using Malarone. If this happens to you, do not drive or use machines, and see your doctor.
Q&A: our Malarone discussion forum
Can I still drink alcohol?
Yes. Alcohol is not thought to affect the way this drug works. However, it is advisable to only drink in sensible amounts, as the the medicine needs to be taken responsibly and on a regular basis.
Will I still be able to drive?
Some users have reported feelings of dizziness when taking this treatment. If you feel as though you may be unable to drive safely, avoid doing so and seek immediate medical attention.
Can I use this medicine while pregnant?
This product is not recommended for those who are breastfeeding, and a doctor may advise against using it if you are pregnant, or suspect you might be.
How do I store it?
In a safe environment out of the reach of children.
Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?
Malarone contains atovaquone, proguanil, poloxamer 188, microcrystalline cellulose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, povidone K30, hypromellose, sodium starch glycollate (Type A), magnesium stearate, titanium dioxide (E171), iron oxide red (E172), macrogol 400 and polyethylene glycol 8000.
Is it available over-the-counter?
You will need a prescription to buy Malarone in the UK.
Is it right for me?
The antimalarial you use will depend on which area of the world you are travelling to. Speak to your doctor or local travel clinic for further guidance.
Please note that this item is not available through our service.
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