Antimalarials: The Vital Defence Against Malaria

Malaria is a serious infection that can lead to severe complications and even death. Before you plan an international trip to a destination with a high risk of malaria, make sure you visit a Travel Clinic in London at least 6 weeks before travelling. This will allow the proper time for immunisations and boosters, such as yellow fever vaccination and antimalarial medication to start to work before you leave. This will also give your travel nurse or primary doctor time to assess any adverse reactions.

Antimalarial drugs can help to reduce the risk of infection if you are travelling to a high-risk country. They are the best defence against malaria. In this article, we will explain the different ones available as well as ways to avoid mosquito bites.

What is malaria?

Malaria is a parasitic disease that spreads to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. People who get malaria fall very sick with symptoms that are very similar to the flu. But if left untreated, it can be life-threatening. 

Symptoms of malaria typically include:

·         High fevers

·         Shaking and chills

·         Headache

·         Nausea and vomiting

·         Diarrhoea

·         Joint pain

·         Fatigue

·         Fast heartbeat and fast breathing.


High-risk areas for malaria

The greatest risk for getting malaria is visiting or living in areas where malaria is common, this includes:

·         Sub-Saharan Africa

·         South Asia and Southeast Asia

·         Central America and Northern South America

·         Pacific Islands

Antimalarial Medication

The malarial parasite starts in the liver and then proceeds to infect the red blood cells. Most antimalarials kill the parasite when it is in the red blood cells.

There are a few antimalarial medications to choose from that can help prevent malaria. A travel nurse from your local travel clinic can help you choose the one that’s best for you based on where you will be travelling.

The following antimalarial tablets are the most commonly prescribed as a preventative measure. Some are available over-the-counter and others require a prescription.


·         Chloroquine

·         Proguanil


·         Mefloquine     

·         Doxycycline

·         Malarone (Atovaquone and Proguanil)

·         Primaquine

If you want to stay safe and healthy during your holiday, make sure you take the necessary preventative steps to ensure your safety while travelling. Make an appointment with us at your local Miles Pharmacy Travel Clinic.