Malaria tablets - to take or not to take, that is the question.

So who took malaria tablets when they travelled this trip?

I know parts of all of the countries visited are malarial.  We have friends living there who don't take anything, and others who travelled with just deet spray, but any Health site recommends them, which I realise they have to do. If you have to spray for dengue fever, then it strikes me that mossies with malaria are also covered?  I really don't want to take tablets for such a long time! 

Any thoughts - take a careful chance/calculated risk, or shell out the money on the tablets?

All recommendations gratefully received.

Hi Karen:

The travel clinic I went to suggested - but even then it wasn't a really strong suggestion - of Malarone for 9 days covering the portion of the trip on the boat on the Mekong through to Vien Vang.  I had thought I would have to take it for the whole trip, but they said it was not necessary.  Looks like you are going to be on the same trip - Nov. 4.  Are you travelling alone or with someone else.  So far I know 2 other women who are travelling solo, as well as myself (see destination forum)

Hi again Karen - discussion is in the departure forum for november


Hi, I'm the pharmacist at Nomad and I’ve actually done something very similar to this trip a few years ago and it’s a fantastic part of the world and a trip I’ll never forget. As you say, the decision to take antimalarials is always a risk/benefit analysis. Your risk of catching malaria is quite small however the severity of the disease is such that I recommend taking a very effective and very well tolerated antimalarial such as malarone or the generic version that is now available to cover day 4 of your trip (arrival at Chiang Khong) through to day 11 (arrival at Vientienne ). You need to take these antimalarials 1 day before exposure to risk and for 7 days after, a total of 16 tablets. In addition, application of a good insect repellent throughout your trip will prevent transmission of diseases like Dengue fever as well as back up your antimalarial medication.


Thankyou so much for your reply.  Hadn't even thought about covering just a week of the trip where the possibility of malarial mossies is higher.  That is so helpful, and seems to me to cover all eventualities.

What a star you are to make the effort to put forward your experience/knowledge.  I really appreciate the time taken.

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