Malarone Tablets are available to buy from The Independent Pharmacy Online Doctor service, following a free consultation, to help prevent malaria. To find out more about malaria and see all the available treatments, see our Malaria page.
Malarone Tablets contain two active ingredients; Proguanil Hydrochloride and Atovaquone. It is mainly used to prevent malaria. It is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline and is classified as a prescription-only-medicine (POM). Malarone is one of the newer treatments for malaria. It is taken once daily, 2 – 3 days before travel and continuing until 1 week after returning.
Each Malarone tablet contains 100mg of Proguanil Hydrochloride and 250mg of Atovaquone. Both these ingredients are anti-parasitic drugs that are active against the malaria-causing plasmodium parasite. Once the plasmodium parasite enters the bloodstream it starts to reproduce, causing the malaria disease. Proguanil works by inhibiting the parasite’s ability to reproduce. It does this by blocking the action of an enzyme found inside the parasite. This enzyme, dihydrofolate reductase, is involved in its reproduction. By blocking dihydrofolate reductase, Proguanil prevents the formation of any new genetic material forming within the parasite. This means it is unable to reproduce and multiply.
Atovaquone works in a similar way to Proguanil. It inhibits the production of new genetic material from inside the malaria parasite, resulting in the parasite’s inability to reproduce. Both these ingredients work effectively together in a dual attack upon the malaria-causing parasite.
Malarone is highly effective against the strains of malaria caused by the plasmodium falciparum parasite. This parasite is responsible for producing the most serious form of malaria called malignant malaria. For areas where the plasmodium falciparum is prevalent, Malarone will usually be the recommended choice of treatment. Malarone may also be ideal for other areas where there is a known resistance to other forms of antimalarial medicines, such as Chloroquine.
Malarone is also available as an unbranded generic form that is simple called; Atovaquone/Proguanil 250mg/100mg Tablets. These are the same as Malarone but are less expensive due to their unbranded nature.
Please read the Patient Information Leaflet for side effects and additional information.
Pharmacist Tip: Malarone should not be taken if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It is generally very well tolerated with only mild intestinal upsets and headaches reported. If side effects are experienced then taking the tablets with or after a meal may help to relieve them.
Use only recommended, evidence-based products. There is no evidence that bath oils, electronic “buzzers”, essential oils, garlic, homeopathic remedies, odour baited mosquito traps, tea tree oil, skin moisturisers, smoking, vitamin B tablets or yeast extract will have any effect in preventing mosquito bites.
Malarone & bite avoidance
It’s important to note that even if you’re taking an antimalarial like Malarone, it’s still important to take steps to prevent Mosquito bites. The use of insect repellents, nets and sleeping in a screened room are all highly recommended. It’s also a good idea to wear light, coloured clothing that covers as much of the body as possible.
Using an insecticide like a plug-in or spray is also an effective means of clearing and deterring those pesky insects. All the above measures are particularly important after sunset. This is the time when Mosquitoes are most active. As with so many things in life, prevention is better than cure. This is certainly true with regards to Malaria!
- You should take one tablet every day at roughly the same time each day.
- Malarone needs to be taken 2 – 3 days before entering an area where malaria is present and continued until 7 days after leaving the malaria area.
- You should take Malarone with or after food or milk
- Malarone remains effective with a moderate alcohol intake.
How and when do I take Malarone?
Malarone is a one-a-day dose that you need to start taking 1-2 days before you travel. It is continued every day during your stay and also for an additional week after you return to a Malaria-free area. For example if you were travelling for 2 weeks you would need 23 tablets. That’s 2 (before you travel) + 14 (during your stay) + 7 (upon your return) =23 tablets.
It is important to complete the course as it can take 7 days to ensure any parasites that remain in your blood are effectively killed.
It is advised to take Malarone with food and drink where possible. This can increase the absorption of Malarone in the body, increasing its effectiveness and possibly reducing side-effects.
If you do experience side effects from Malarone they may include coughing, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, loss of appetite, mouth sores, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, or weakness. Malarone has a small risk of nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and skin rash as with all medicines. Please read the Patient Information Leaflet enclosed with your medicines for a full list of side effects.
If you experience any adverse effects from taking your prescribed medicine it is important to let us know immediately. Please log in to your online account and message one of our healthcare professionals or alternatively call us on 0117 971 1603. In a medical emergency you should contact the emergency services or go straight to your local Accident & Emergency.
Unfortunately Malarone is not 100% effective at preventing malaria, however it is still very effective if taken properly and combined with bite avoidance methods.
Remember it is also important to get the correct vaccinations for your trip before you travel. These should be administered around 6 weeks before you leave.
Remember, malaria can take up to a year to develop after you have been bitten. If you experience symptoms including headaches, night sweats and abdominal pain any time during your trip or up to one year afterwards you must see a doctor as soon as possible.
Things to be aware of before considering or taking Malarone.
Malarone isn’t suitable for everyone. Do not take or take if:
- You are allergic to any of the ingredients
- You have severe Kidney disease
- You are pregnant or breast feeding
Malarone can also interact with other medicines, it may not be suitable if taking any of the following:
- Metoclopramide (anti-emetic)
- Tetracycline, Rifampicin & Rifabutin (antibiotics)
- Efavirenz (protease inhibitor)
- Warfarin (anticoagulant)
- Etoposide (cancer treatment)
Should you be taking any of the above medication it will be necessary to seek medical advice before deciding upon the most suitable treatment. Please read the Patient Information Leaflet enclosed with your medicines for further information.
Each Malarone tablet contains 100mg of Proguanil Hydrochloride and 250mg of Atovaquone as the active ingredients.
The other ingredients are:
Tablet core: poloxamer 188, microcrystalline cellulose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, povidone K30, sodium starch glycollate (Type A), magnesium stearate.
Tablet coating: hypromellose, titanium dioxide (E171), iron oxide red (E172), macrogol 400 and polyethylene glycol 8000.