We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Different Types of Malaria Prevention?

By T. Broderick
Updated Feb 23, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

There are many different types of malaria prevention. Though quinine was the standard preventive measure for hundreds of years, a number of readily available anti-malarial medications have come onto the market in the past half century. Though these medications have the same purpose, each has different instructions for use and unique side effects. As all anti-malarial medications are never 100% effective, a person traveling to a country with malaria needs to take certain common sense measures to protect him or herself.

A traveler needs to educate him or herself about the many forms of malaria prevention for four reasons. The first is that certain anti-malarial medications have adverse interactions with other medications. Second, all drugs have side effects that may harm individuals with certain pre-existing medical conditions, and third, a drug may only protect against one type of malaria. Finally, an individual may want to select a medication that has fewer total doses so that the taking of medication is not an inconvenience. With these considerations in mind, an individual can select an appropriate form of malaria prevention.

Primaquine is the most effective medicine in preventing malaria caused by P. vivax, one of four main types of the disease. The dose is daily, and an individual can wait until two days before his or her trip to begin taking the medication. After returning home, he or she has to continue medication for one week. A downside of primaquine is that an individual must be tested for a glucose-6-phosphatase deficiency before a doctor will prescribe the medication. Those testing positive for a deficiency and pregnant women cannot take the medication.

Mefloquine is a form of malaria prevention that protects against all forms of malaria. Safe for pregnant women, it is taken weekly and thus good for long trips. An individual must begin medication two weeks prior to travel and not stop until four weeks after coming home. As malaria in certain areas of the world is mefloquine-resistant, another medication is required. Finally, those with certain cardiac and psychiatric conditions cannot take mefloquine.

Doxycycline is the least expensive form of malaria prevention. A secondary advantage is that the medication can prevent other infections. It is a daily medication, and though an individual can wait until two days before travel to begin, taking the medication for four weeks after returning home is required. Pregnant women and children under 8 years old cannot take doxycycline.

Besides consulting a physician when deciding on the right anti-malarial medication, an individual can take common sense measures to protect him or herself against malaria. As malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes, long sleeves and pants and generous amount of bug spray are good first lines of defense. Sleeping under a mosquito net will provide protection and ensure a better night's sleep. Combined, these forms of prevention will reduce one's chances of contracting malaria to practically zero.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.