If you will be traveling to an area where the risk for malaria is high, malaria prevention strategies are recommended. Most prevention strategies involve doing things that can keep mosquitoes from biting you, especially at night when they are most active. Some of these measures include:
- Reduce your contact with mosquitoes by staying in a well-screened or air-conditioned room when possible
- Avoid the outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, usually at night
- Wear insect repellent and long-sleeved clothing if you are outdoors at night
- Sleep under bed nets, which are especially effective if they have been treated with an insecticide, such as permethrin
- Take antimalarial medications before, during, and after your trip.
Not all medications work equally well in all malaria areas. The medication you take to prevent malaria will depend on the area you will visit. Therefore, it is a good idea to talk to a healthcare provider about your travel plans.
Malarone is one of several medications approved for malaria prevention. It can be used for prevention in areas where chloroquine (another malaria medicine) may not work.
How Does Malarone Work?Malarone belongs to the antimalarial class of medications. As mentioned earlier, malaria is a blood infection caused by tiny parasites called Plasmodium. Plasmodium are usually introduced into the bloodstream by the bite of an infected mosquito. Once in the bloodstream, these parasites start to reproduce.
Malarone prevents Plasmodium parasites from copying their nucleic acid, an essential step in reproduction. The two components of Malarone do this in slightly different ways, allowing them to work well in combination to prevent Plasmodium parasites from reproducing in the bloodstream.