Malaria is a serious disease that causes a high fever and chills. You can get it from a bite by an infected mosquito. It is most often found in Africa, Southern Asia, Central America, and South America.

If you are going to be traveling to a location where malaria is common, talk to your doctor a few months ahead of time about drugs you can take — before, during and after your trip — that can help protect you from malaria parasites.

In general, the drugs taken to prevent malaria are the same drugs used to treat the disease. Your doctor needs to know where you will be traveling so that he or she can prescribe the drug that will work best on the type of malaria parasite most commonly found in that region.

Spraying your home. Treating your home  walls with insecticide can help kill adult mosquitoes that come inside.
Sleeping under a net. Bed nets, particularly those treated with insecticide, are especially recommended for pregnant women and young children.
Covering your skin. During active mosquito times, usually from dusk to dawn, wear pants and long-sleeved shirts.
Spraying clothing and skin. Sprays containing permethrin are safe to use on clothing, while sprays containing DEET can be used on skin.

The types of drugs and the length of treatment will vary, depending on:

Which type of malaria parasite you have
The severity of your symptoms
Your age
Whether you are pregnant

Medications

The most common antimalarial drugs include:

Chloroquine.
Doxycycline. Women who are pregnant and children younger than age 9 should not take this medicine.
Malarone. Malarone is a combination of two antimalarial medicines (atovaquone and proguanil).
Mefloquine. Do not take mefloquine if you have a history of active or recent depression or other mental illness, seizures, or some types of heart-rhythm problems.
Primaquine. You should be tested for glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency before taking primaquine.

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