Malarone is a prescription drug for the treatment and prevention of malaria, a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito. If you will be travelling to, or have recently returned from a tropical or sub-tropical area where malaria is prevalent, you should talk to your doctor about Malarone.
The two active ingredients of Malarone are Atovaquone and Proguanil. Atovaquone works by interfering with certain substances that are required to complete the reproduction process of the parasites. Proguanil works slightly different by blocking an enzyme in the parasite so it cannot produce new DNA. This stops malarial parasites in the blood from replication and increasing their numbers. The two drugs are more efficient when combined than taken as one or the other.
Only an infected female Anopheles mosquito can transmit malaria through its bite. The mosquito becomes the carrier after biting an infected person. The parasite grows and matures in the gut of the mosquito for a time before travelling to its salivary glands. The next blood meal it takes mixes with the infected saliva and is deposited into the next victim.
Some malarial parasites have become resistant to the drugs used in certain areas. In most of Africa, malaria has become resistant to Chloroquine; in parts of Thailand, Mefloquine no longer works against malaria.
Small doses of Malarone can also be used as a prophylactic treatment for healthy individuals intending to travel in regions with a high incidence of malaria. Taking precautions when travelling to regions known to have malaria such as bed-netting, DEET repellants, and long-sleeves and pants can help to protect you from mosquito bites. Malaria can persist for years unless precautions or medicine are taken to prevent repeated cycles of sickness.
Ask your doctor if Malarone is safe to take if you are pregnant, trying to conceive, or are nursing your baby. Discuss other medical conditions or allergies you have that could interfere with taking Malarone and provide information about any OTC or Rx drugs you are taking, including herbal remedies and vitamin supplements. Mixing Malarone with other medications can change the efficacy or unintended side effects of this or other drugs.
You must take Malarone for the time specified, even if you feel good! If any of the parasites have not been eradicated, they may start up again and could become drug resistant to Malarone. Store all medications out of children’s reach and never share your meds with anyone else.