How Much Do Malaria Tablets Cost?

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Malaria tablets are used to protect against malaria, a disease spread by mosquitoes infected with the malaria parasite, called the Plasmodium parasite. When an infected mosquito bites a person, they can become ill with malaria, and there is a risk of death. Therefore, it is crucial to take steps to prevent malaria if you are travelling to an area where malaria is common.

The cost of malaria tablets can vary depending on which tablets you choose. Prices can range from £10 - £40 per week. Malarone, is one of the more well-known malaria tablets, popular because of its low side effect profile. Whilst it can be pricey, there is a generic non-branded version, at a much cheaper price. Doxycycline is a cost-effective option starting at around £10 per week, but it needs to be taken for 28 days after leaving the malaria zone, which is inconvenient for many people. Lariam is taken by those who would prefer a weekly dosing schedule. Prices start at around £25 per week. However, because of the psychiatric side effects of Lariam, most people choose to avoid this option. 

 

Why you should take pills for malaria prevention

Symptoms of malaria can include fever, chills, feeling very sick, headache, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal or joint pain, and rapid breathing and heart rate. Malaria can lead to serious complications and even death.

Regions affected by malaria include Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, parts of Central and South America, and the Middle East. If you plan to travel to one of these areas, check the NHS Fit For Travel website to see if your destination is a hotspot for malaria.

 

The best malaria tablets

Pills for malaria prevention are generally the same drugs that are used to treat the disease. The best malaria tablets for you will depend on where you are travelling to, your body weight, and your personal circumstances.

Malarone, the brand name for Atovaquone/Proguanil, is considered one of the best antimalarial drugs because it is very well tolerated, and side effects are uncommon. Some antimalarial tablets can cause upset stomachs, bad reactions to the sun, yeast infections in women, dizziness, and disturbed sleep.

Malarone is taken daily, and you need to start taking the pills one to two days before your journey. This makes it ideal for last-minute travel plans. When you return home, you only need to continue with the tablets for seven days. Some antimalarial tablets have to be taken for four weeks after returning from your journey.

However, Malarone can work out to be expensive. If you are concerned about the price of malaria tablets, there is another option — you can opt for a cheaper version of Malarone buy opting for the non-branded version, known as generic Malarone. The tablets will contain exactly the same ingredients as Malarone, namely Atovaquone and Proguanil, but they will be marketed as generic Malarone or have a different brand name on the packaging. Atovaquone/Proguanil is just as effective as the branded pills, but they cost less.

 

Malaria tablets: our prices

  • Malarone: Prices start from £45.99 per week
  • Atovaquone/Proguanil: Prices start from £22.89 per week
  • Doxycycline: Prices start from £9.99 per week
  • Mefloquine (Lariam): Prices start from £39.99 per week

 

How many malaria tablets do I need?

Malarone and Generic Malarone

These tablets need to be taken 2 days before travel, every day whilst in the malaria zone, and for 7 days after leaving. So, you will need tablets to cover you for the duration of your trip, plus an extra 9 tablets.

Doxycycline

Doxyxycline for malaria prevention needs to be taken 2 days before travel, every day whilst in the malaria zone, and for 28 days after leaving. You will need a tablet for every day of your trip, plus an extra 30 tablets.

Lariam

Lariam is to be taken weekly. You need to taken Lariam for 3 week before your travel, once a week whilst in the malaria zone, and for 4 weeks after leaving. You will need one tablet for every week you are in the malaria zone, plus 7 tablets.

 

What is the difference between malaria tablets?

A table comparing the difference between malaria tablets

  Malarone/Atovaquone & Proguanil (generic Malarone) Doxycycline Lariam
Prices Prices start from £22.89 per week Prices start from £9.99 per week Prices start from £39.99 per week
Effective Malaria Zones Worldwide Worldwide Worldwide (caution in South East Asia)
How often do I take it? Once a day Once a day Once a week
How many days before and after travel do I take tablets for? 1 day before and 7 days after 1 day before and 28 days after 3 weeks before and 4 weeks after
Common Side Effects
  • Nausea
  • diarrhoea
  • stomach upset
  • headache
  • Nasuea
  • diarrhoea
  • upset stomach
  • headache,
  • vomiting
  • skin sensitivity to sunlight
  • Nausea
  • diarrhoea
  • upset stomach
  • headache
  • vomiting
  • anxiety
  • sleep disorders
  • depression
Is it suitable for children? Yes - in a paediatric version No - unless you are over 12 years of age Yes - dose adjustment may be necessary depending on body weight
Who cannot take it? Pregnant or breastfeeding women unless benefit outweighs risks Pregnant or breastfeeding women Pregnant women, history of psychiatric disorders, history of epilepsy or seizures

 

Where can I buy malaria tablets?

You can ask your GP to issue you a prescription for malaria tablets, or you can buy them at a local pharmacy or from an online pharmacy. To purchase malaria tablets from Chemist Click, visit our Malaria Tablets page, click on the pills you want to buy, and start a consultation.

No malaria pills can 100% protect you from getting the disease, but they are highly effective. You should take other steps to prevent mosquito bites when you travel to areas where malaria is widespread. Use insect repellant, wear clothes that cover your body, and sleep with a mosquito net over your bed.


Whilst all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it is not intended to be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please speak to your doctor.