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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My family is going to Costa Rica in a month. I had a doctor's appt. to discuss the trip and she recommended anti-malaria medication. We are going to be in CR for a week and are staying at a resort. We will leave the resort once or twice to go to national parks but other than that the mosquito risk will be minimal.<br><br>
Have you taken the meds? Did you experience any side effects? What about your children? I have an 8 and almost 3 year old. I will be discussing this with their doctor in a few weeks. Do you think the meds are worth taking for our trip? I don't know anything about them and told the doc I wanted to look into it before taking the prescription. You have to take the medicine before you leave, everyday you are there, and everyday for a week after you get back.<br><br>
I'm just curious about other's experiences. Thank you!
 

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First off, I lived in the jungle in Honduras for a year, and have travelled throughout Central America quite extensively (you are going to LOVE it!), and I have NEVER taken anti-malarials. I have also never gotten malaria.<br><br>
The malaria risk at a resort, which I asume would be in or near a city and not in the middle of the rainforest, is slim to none. Our North American medical providers tend to have a bit of an exagerated opinion of the malaria risks in many countries. You do NOT have to take meds if you aren't comfortable with them. When I researched them, the side effects and risks of the meds seemed worse than the risk of perhaps contracting a very treatable disease. So, I nixed the idea. This was a personal decision though, and I do understand making the oposite decision. Especially because it is one thing to risk your own health, and quite another to risk your child's. However, I would like to mention that the only travellers I have ever met who have contracted malaria were actually taking their meds regularly (complete with strange dreams, occasional hallucinations and cases of depression).<br><br>
Your malaria risk at the national parks would theoretically be higher, but wearing clothes that cover arms and legs will help protect, as well as bug repellant (of the natural or "un-natural" variety). Also, you will have to look this up yourself, as I can NEVER remember which goes with which, but daytime and night-time mosquitoes are carriers of different diseases. I *think* that the night-time blighters are of the malaria variety and the day ones of the dengue variety (your anti-malarials will do nothing for the dengue). This would mean that as long as you are out of the park by evening, you will avoid the bulk of the malaria risk (if I have correctly matched the day and night mosquitoes with their appropriate diseases!).<br><br>
In the end, I think that a medication that is unsafe for pregnant and nursing mothers is, in general, unsafe for the general population. So, I refuse the anti-malarials. Just my .02$.<br><br>
If you do decide to go with the meds though, do your research as there are some varieties that are less "toxic" than others, and some that are uneffective in certain areas of the world. Your travel clinic, if you have one, will know more about this than your doctor, generally. Also, former missionaries/aid-workers (as long as they are recently returned), can help point you in the right direction. I'm sure there are people on this board with much wisdom on the subject as well.<br><br>
Suerte y buen viaje!<br>
Katia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you, Katia! I was leaning toward not taking it but I wanted more opinions. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I think Costa Rica is not chloroquine-resistant, so if you decide to prophylax,I'd definitely go with that over mefloquine or doxycycline. I prophylaxed in Peace Corps (Central Africa -- chloroquine-resistant) and ended up having to leave b/c I couldn't tolerate the mefloquine.
 

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If you decide to use the meds use Malarone over Larium. Laruim can have long term LCD affects.<br><br>
I dont see the risks for resorts. I know people who went to Costa Rica without meds. I personally wouldnt take them, but thats me.
 
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