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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Malaria
Answer: It will last a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, I don't use the anti-malarials enough to give you good advice. I would consult an Infectious Disease Specialist if they persist, they would have more experience, it isn't a drug we use all the often in the US.
Answer: Out of my information base, I'd contact Lederle's scientific dept 800-934-5556 to see if they have further information.
Answer: It depends on the type of malaria. Some are harder to treat and can reoccur. Usually treatment by competent physicians in the US will result in a complete cure. However, the Red Cross will not usually take blood from someone with malaria in the recent past due to the possibility (probably 1%) of reoccurrence.
Malaria - Plaquenil
Answer: Plaquenil(hydroxychloroquine) is an anti-malaria drug which is very similar in activity to chloroquine. There are several different types of malaria species and some are resistant to some of the original drugs used to treat malaria. Plaquenil is also used in treating systemic lupus erythematosus and occasionally rheumatoid arthritis. Plaquenil is generally effective against P. malariae, P. ovale and P. vivax. It is a preventive only, and will not eliminate an infection that is already established due to its inability to eradicate certain dormant or latent parts of the parasites lifecycle. It is not especially effective against P. falciparum. When going to areas of the world prone to malaria, it is important to know if there is any P. falciparum or any resistant malaria. Treatment in these areas is different than usual. The CDC produces a trade advisory available to any physician with this information. There are also travel clinics in most cities which specialize in the necessary immunizations and the advice about medicines like malaria prophylaxis.
Answer: Malaria is caused by the transmission of parasites in the Plasmodium family and is infectious only by direct blood innoculation. This is usually done by insects; but, there are reported cases of blood transfusions and sharing needles with drugs causing transmission of malaria. Direct personnal contact is not thought to cause transmission of malaria.
Answer: Mefloquin is the generic name for an anti-malarial drug which can cause dizziness. Serious drug interactions with other drugs have been reported and subsequent treatment with other anti-malarials can cause serious problems. This drug has been shown to cause different kinds of cancer in rats and mice. Short term studies in humans have demonstrated no effects on the sperm. However, use in pregnant women would be risky. Post marketing studies have not demonstrated any marked ability to cause cancers with normal use.
Answer: Malaria is only transmitted by mosquito inoculation or occasional blood transfusion of infected blood products. Casual transmission by contact is not possible.
Answer: The symptoms can persist if the infection has not been eradicated. However, with newer medications this is rare indeed-especially in developed countries. There are only a few subgroups of malaria which will produce relapsing symptoms. These are usually easily identified and treated. After treatment, there shouldn't be any further fevers, chills etc. I don't know of any relationship between malaria and high blood pressure.