Anti-malarial tablets you have been given greatly reduce your risk of catching malaria. It is important that you take them correctly.
BEFORE TAKING YOUR TABLETS
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if:
- you are taking other medicines
- you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant
- you are a breast-feeding mother
- you suffer psoriasis or epilepsy
- you have had an allergic reaction to an anti-malarial or a sulphonamide drug in the past
- you have a history of psychiatric illness
TAKING YOUR TABLETS
- You must start taking your tablets one week before you reach the malarious area, continue during your stay there, and for at least four weeks after leaving the area.
- It is important to take your tablets on the same day each week for a weekly dose. Daily tablets should be taken at the same time each day.
- You should take your tablets with or after food preferably when you have your main meal of the day.
- If you forget to take a dose, you should take it as soon as you remember. If your next dose is due at the same time, take both doses together.
- These medicines can sometimes cause side-effects. If you experience any of the following, tell your doctor or pharmacist:
- Skin rashes
- Upset stomach or heartburn for the first time
- A sore throat for more than a few days
- Persistent blurred vision
HOW TO AVOID BEING BITTEN
Although anti-malarial tablets will greatly reduce the risk of your catching malaria, they are not 100% effective and you should also take measures to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes while you are away.
- Most malarial mosquitoes bite at night and so it is important to make sure you sleep in a room that is screened against mosquitoes or use a mosquito net over your bed.
- Check mosquito nets for holes and make sure it is well tucked in under the mattress while you are sleeping.
- You can impregnate the net with an insecticide which kills mosquitoes (for example, permethrin). Your pharmacist can advise on suitable products.
- Kill any mosquitoes in your room with a fly-killer spray.
- If you are outside in the evening or at night, wear long-sleeved clothes and trousers, and avoid dark colours which attract mosquitoes.
- Use an insect repellant such as one containing DEET (diethyltoluamide) on exposed skin or wear wristbands and anklets impregnated with DEET.
- Electric mosquito killers which slowly release insecticide are effective in enclosed areas, such as hotel rooms. There are also versions which can be used out of doors.
IF YOU DEVELOP any influenza-like illness while you are in the area or during the twelve months after your return, you should see a doctor and tell him where you have been.
- If you have any questions about your anti-malarial or any other medicines, your pharmacist can help
- ASK YOUR PHARMACIST. YOU'LL BE TAKING GOOD ADVICE
- KEEP ALL MEDICINES OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN
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