What is Malarone?
Malarone tablets are a medication used to prevent malaria, a potentially fatal disease that is transmitted by infected mosquitoes. The disease is caused by tiny parasites in the mosquito’s saliva that enter your bloodstream through bites. The parasites travel to your liver where they mature and reproduce. The first symptoms of malaria generally appear within ten to twenty days of receiving an infectious bite.
Malarone uses two active ingredients, Atovaquone and Proguanil that work simultaneously to suppress and kill malarial parasites in your body. If Malarone is taken correctly, the combined effect of the two drugs produces a high level of protection against malaria. It is necessary to begin taking a daily Malarone tablet two days before you enter a malarial region. Daily treatment is continued while you are exposed to infected mosquitoes, and for seven days after you leave the region.
What is the active ingredient of Malarone?
Malarone has two active ingredients, 250mg Atovaquone and 100mg Proguanil. These work simultaneously to suppress and kill malarial parasites inside your body. The potential side effects of Atovaquone and Proguanil are generally considered to be mild.
How does Malarone work?
Malarone works on the assumption that you will be bitten by mosquitoes carrying malarial parasites. The medication is designed to offer protection against malaria by suppressing and killing any parasites that have entered your body. You begin taking malarone a minimum of two days before you enter a malarial region, so that the active ingredients Atovaquone and Proguanil are already active in your system if you are bitten on arrival. You continue to take a daily 250/100mg Malarone tablet every day that you spend in an at risk area, and take a daily tablet for seven days after you leave the malarial zone. If taken correctly, Malarone provides a high level of protection against malaria.
Who can take Malarone?
DoktorABC’s online GPs are generally able to consider prescribing Malarone tablets to adult patients who are planning to travel to malarial regions, as long as there are no prior health issues. If you are allergic to Atovaquone or Proguanil or you are breastfeeding, you cannot take Malarone. Your online GP may be able to recommend Doxycycline as an alternative. In any case, the type of preventative treatment may depend on the exact area that you are travelling to and the type of malarial parasites that you may be exposed to.
If you have kidney problems or are pregnant you should tell our GP when you complete the short online health questionnaire. You may still be able to use Malarone, but our online GP will only approve your prescription if the drug is completely safe for you to use.
What doses of Malarone are available?
When Malarone is prescribed to prevent malaria the usual dosage is a single (250mg Atovaquone and 100mg Proguanil) tablet taken daily with food or a glass of milk. You must begin your course of protective treatment a minimum of two days before you are exposed to infected mosquitoes. This may mean that you start taking tablets in the UK before you fly abroad. It is necessary to continue to take a single tablet every day that you are in a malarial region, and for seven full days after you leave the region. If necessary, you must continue to take a daily tablet after you have returned to the UK.
There may still be malarial parasites in your liver after you leave the malarial region. Continuing to take Malarone for seven days will stop them from infecting you with malaria. It is very important to take every tablet that you have been prescribed, exactly as instructed by your online GP. Malaria is a potentially fatal illness.
How do I take Malarone?
When you are taking Malarone to protect against malaria the required dosage is a single (250mg Atovaquone and 100mg Proguanil) tablet taken once a day with food or a glass of milk. It is important to take each tablet with fatty food or milk to increase the drug’s absorption into your body. You should also aim to take each tablet at the same time every day.
Protective treatment begins a minimum of two days before you enter a malarial region. You will then continue to take a daily tablet every day that you spend in the region. Protective treatment ends seven days after you have ceased to be exposed to infected mosquitoes.
|Two days before exposure to infected mosquitoes.||Every day that you are in the malarial region.||Seven days after you leave the malarial region.|
|A single Malarone tablet once a day.||A single Malarone tablet once a day.||A single Malarone tablet once a day.|
Can I take Malarone tablets and drink alcohol?
Our online GPs generally do not recommend drinking alcohol while you are taking any prescription medicine. There is no evidence that drinking alcohol reduces the effectiveness of Malarone, but it may exacerbate any side effects of the medication. If you think that drinking alcohol may affect your ability to take Malarone tablets correctly, you should refrain from drinking while you are using the medication.
What are the side effects of Malarone?
Important! Please make a note to refer user to read leaflet before use.
Your Malarone tablets will come with a patient leaflet giving detailed information about the medication, its ingredients, possible side effects, and contraindications. Please read this leaflet carefully before you take any tablets. Keep the leaflet with the medication for future reference.
If you take Malarone exactly as directed by our online GP you are unlikely to experience any significant unwelcome side effects. A small minority of patients may experience some minor side effects.
Very common side effects
These may affect more than 1 in 10 people:
- nausea and vomiting
- stomach pain
Common side effects
These may affect up to 1 in 10 people:
- sleeping problems (insomnia)
- strange dreams
- loss of appetite
- rash which may be itchy
Common side effects (which may show up in your blood tests
- reduced numbers of red blood cells (anaemia) which can cause tiredness, headaches and shortness of breath
- reduced numbers of white blood cells (neutropenia) which may make you more likely to catch infections
- low levels of sodium in the blood (hyponatraemia)
- an increase in liver enzymes.
Uncommon side effects
These may affect up to 1 in 100 people:
- abnormal beating of the heart (palpitations)
- swelling and redness of the mouth
- hair loss.
Uncommon side effects that may show up in your blood tests:
- an increase in amylase (an enzyme produced in the pancreas).
Rare side effects
These may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people:
- seeing or hearing things that are not there (hallucinations)
seeing or hearing things that are not there (hallucinations)
When should I not take Malarone?
You must not take Malarone if you are allergic to Atovaquone or Proguanil, or if you are breastfeeding.
When you fill in the short online medical questionnaire it is important to mention any health problems and medications that you are taking. If the duty GP can’t prescribe Malarone, you may be offered Doxycycline instead. If you have any of the following medical conditions, your online GP will check whether Malarone is safe for you to use, and whether you need to take special precautions.
- You have severe kidney disease
- Metoclopramide, used to treat nausea and vomiting
- Tetracycline, rifampicin and rifabutin
- Efavirenz or certain highly active protease-inhibitors used to treat HIV
- Warfarin and other medicines that stop blood clotting
- Eoposide used to treat cancer.
Any specific warnings - please mention any medication specific warning if they are
The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet included in the pack with a medicine. It is written for patients and gives information about taking or using a medicine. It is possible that the leaflet in your medicine pack may differ from the PDF-version from this website because it may have been updated since your medicine was packaged or the medicine is from another brand.