The right drugs for malaria in Burkina Faso
Replies: 25 - Last Post: Jul 24, 2012 9:59 AM Last Post By: LizaD
Jul 19, 2012 4:07 PM
The right drugs for malaria in Burkina FasoHi all,
I arrived in Burkina Faso two days ago for a stay of three months. I am not taking any malarial prevention, partly because I have been two times working in africa already so I don't feel such a stranger here, and partly because I don't want to put any unnecessary chemicals in my body.
I will however carry around some kind of self-treatment, as I will be in remote places. And I think that is the key thing, to have the right ones.
I have been to a pharmacy today, and asked for a good treament. They advised me Savarine, which is a mix of chloroquine and proguanil. ATTENTION this is said to be already innefective as the plasmodium (the malaria microorganism) has already resistance to this medicine pretty much all over the tropics and subtropics except a few areas.
By reading through the internet I found out the best treatment to have these days is Coartem, which should be widely available.
Have a good trip you all!
Jul 19, 2012 5:13 PM
1We've already lost a member on here to malaria
You're taking a great risk, particularly at this time of year.
NutraxforNerves is 'the' specialist on drugs but from a conversation we had a while ago, I seem to remember that Coartem is a drug to be taken after contracting it. There's no 'right' drug for X or Y country ...
You should be taking preventative medicine
To be posting on a public forum saying it's 'ok' to have self-treatment is crazy!
Many of us have spent long periods in Africa & still take some sort of preventative medicine with us.
I hope you manage to get through the 3 months without contracting one of the two strains of malaria, you'll be saying otherwise if not!
Jul 19, 2012 10:21 PM
2I think what you're doing is silly and somewhat dangerous, but it's your body and you're entitled to your own brand of silliness and danger. Just don't neglect to allow for the fact that a large proportion of the anti-malarials available for sale in West Africa are counterfeit, adulterated or stale. Buy wisely.
PS: there are now five recognized varieties of plasmodium parasite, up from four.
Jul 19, 2012 10:56 PM
Jul 19, 2012 11:05 PM
I agree with Kira. I am concerned that you have not taken any preventative measures treatment to ward off the nasty surprise of a malaria attack. Although I am African born in Uganda, I still sleep in an insecticide treated mosquito net to prevent malaria. High risk groups like expectant mothers in Uganda are given three doses of a drug called Fansidar during the term of their pregnancy. It is very good as a preventative drug and should be useful to you. All medicines may cause side effects but many people have no or minor side effects. Last time I used it, I experienced nausea, although diarrhea, dizziness and vomiting have also been reported by other users. If any of these side effects are severe, you have to see a doctor right away.
You might find it useful to take your medication at night before going to sleep and drink plenty of water/fruit juice during the day.
Coartem is generally good for treating the disease after onset of symptoms. These include fever and flu-like illness, including shaking chills, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also occur. Malaria may cause anemia and jaundice (yellow coloring of the skin and eyes) because of the loss of red blood cells. And if not promptly treated, may cause kidney failure, seizures, mental confusion, coma, and death.
All this is not meant to scare you but to give you a realistic view of the potential danger you may find yourself in - especially that you said you will be based in a remote area. In fact, it is recommended that you take preventative medication before you arrive and for sometime after leaving an endemic location. This is extremely important to cover the incubation period.
But now that you ARE there, I am no doctor but would recommend;
1. Taking preventative medication immediately e.g Fansidar
2. Buy mosquito repellant that you can apply on your skin
3. Spraying insecticide in your room/house.
4. Burning pyrethroid coils to control mosquito populations in the house
5. Sleeping under a treated mosquito net I imagine you already have one!
6. It might also be helpful to wear long sleeved shirts and trousers especially after sunset.
Lastly, in future, should you feel that you might be infected with malaria, it is ALWAYS a bad idea to self mediate largely because you can never tell how severe it is - especially to a first timer! Rather, seek medical attention IMMEDIATELY.
All the best
Jul 20, 2012 12:41 AM
Jul 20, 2012 1:42 AM
6Are you seriously advising him to take those chemicals for 3 MONTHS? SERIOUSLY?
so please write it so we're sure we know what we're talking about. Kira do you mean "yes you should be taking Lariam for the next 3 months"? Really? Are you really advising someone to do that?
sorry but i have to disagre about who is CRAZY in this discussion.
Can a SINGLE ONE of you explain to me how expats in Africa manage to survive? And please don't do as if you didn't notice that sentence... although i know that's what will happen.
Kira stop with this guy who died of Malaria. I did read about him, he was pretty careless.
Do you know how many people die in a car accident everyday? And you still drive? how crazy are you?
Kira, i sincerely suspect you of advertising for those nasty Laboratories. You're siding the bad guys....
Jul 20, 2012 2:07 AM
7Troll or not - it's up to the OP to take his own life in his own hands - presuming he retains a modicum of sanity !
Personally, I would always take every option open to me to counter this disease. In my yoof, I spent 3 months on the classic London - Nairobi overland route (it's were I caught Malum Africanum). We all too 'reasonable' precautions but one of us still caught Malaria - it's what prompted to by current approach.
BTW : As most people on here have discovered, there's no preventative measure or cure for Malum Africanum .
Jul 20, 2012 2:30 AM
Jul 20, 2012 2:44 AM
9I spent most of 2010 in Africa (Jan to Nov) and I did a very careful weighing up of the risks in the various countries I spent time at the particular time of year, and I got local medical advice in places I was spending long periods of time in. I chose not to take anti-malarials from Jan to July when I was in South Africa (mostly the non malaria free part) and Botswana- even though there is a risk, it's low and local doctors advised that it wasn't necessary.
However, I did take Larium from July to December, when I was in Zambia and Tanzania. It's not a problem to take Larium for that length of time- so certainly 3 months is no problem.
You can't compare travellers with ex-pats. You can't take anti-malarials non stop, so ex-pats have no choice but to take chances and the chances are they will get malaria every now and then. However, some I met in Zambia would still take them during the highest risk period of the year (rainy season). I took a few (calculated) risks as I didn't want to take them for a whole year (plus I also wanted to dive in South Africa which is not recommended on Larium). However, for 3 months in Burkins Faso I would take them.
Ex-pats and long term travellers take chances because they don't have a choice- short term travellers (and I include 3 months in this) do have a choice.
Jul 20, 2012 2:49 AM
10I, too, thought the same and as an expat in Africa stopped taking Larium after 3 months but, according to NUTRAX (who knows what she is talking about, unlike most on here when discussing medicines) I was wrong. One can, and should, take the drugs long term.
Jul 20, 2012 2:54 AM
Jul 20, 2012 3:17 AM
13But you didn't when you were living in Africa?
Why don't most ex-pats take them, if it's advisable?
Personally I think most people do have some sort of side effect which, while bearable in the short term, isn't something they'd want to live with permanently. I took Larium for 6 months and I did get some hair loss- didn't really notice it until I got home as the water where I'd been living had made my hair frizzy. But I noticed as it started to grow back. I don't think I'd want to take it on a permanent basis.
Jul 20, 2012 3:37 AM
14Like most expats, I "grew out of the habit", probably through a combination of forgetfulness, laziness and a blase attitude. It was easier to ignore the threat (though a real one) in Sudan than in West Africa where I take Lariam religiously. I have never taken anything in South America nor SE Asia, an admission to which I hold up my hands in guilt. One day Mrs Anophelese will have her way with me; I hope I survive.
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