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Antimalarial

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Antimalarial Adult, Children

Antimalarial - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Antimalarial cause?

Mefloquine (can be purchased at retail pharmacies)

  • Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, insomnia, vivid dreams. Continue the course unless these side effects become unbearable.
  • Dizziness, loss of balance, and ringing in the ear. Discuss with you pharmacist or doctor if you are involved in activities that require a high degree of alertness, sense of balance or performance of skilled tasks. These side effects can occur at any time during drug use, and can last for months to years after the drug is stopped or can be permanent. If you experience these symptoms stop taking Mefloquine immediately and see your doctor for an alternative anti-malaria medication.
  • Rare side effects: acute anxiety, depression, restlessness, confusion, severe dizziness, hallucinations. If you experience these symptoms stop taking Mefloquine immediately and see your doctor for an alternative anti-malaria medication.
  • Most side effects from this medication usually occur before the second dose.

​Atovaquone with Proguanil (Malarone®) (requires a doctor's prescription)

  • Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, diarrhoea. If you experience such symptoms, please continue unless side effects become intolerable.

Doxycycline (requires a doctor's prescription)

  • Sunburn due to sunlight sensitivity, therefore try to avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight and use sunscreen.
  • Nausea or diarrhoea. This is minimised by taking the medication with a meal.
  • Inflammation of the oesophagus. Avoid lying down for half an hour after taking medication.
  • Space the medication apart from iron supplements and antacids as it impairs the absorption of medication.

Chloroquine (available at pharmacies)

  • ​Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, insomnia, dizziness, visual disturbances, itchy skin. Continue the course unless these side effects become unbearable.
  • Although uncommon, chloroquine may lower your blood glucose level; seek medical attention immediately if you experience symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, feeling hungry, nervous or anxious.​

Before taking Antimalarial, what precautions must I follow?

Mefloquine (can be purchased at retail pharmacies)

  • For women of childbearing age, take measures to avoid pregnancy while on this medication and for three months after the last dose.
  • Should not be taken by travelers with a history of epilepsy or psychiatric disorders (including depression, generalized anxiety disorders, psychosis and schizophrenia) and heart conduction abnormalities.

Atovaquone with Proguanil (Malarone®)(requires a doctor's prescription)

  • ​​Avoid pregnancy while taking this medicine and for 2 weeks after the last dose.
  • Should not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Doxycycline (requires a doctor's prescription)

  • ​Should not be taken by pregnant or breast-feeding women and children aged 8 years and below.
  • For women of childbearing age, take measures to avoid pregnancy while on this medication and for one week after the last dose.

Chloroquine (available at pharmacies)

  • Should not be taken by travellers with a history of epilepsy and patients with known G6PD deficiency. May exacerbate psoriasis.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Antimalarial?

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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