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How Maloff Protect Works
What is malaria?
Malaria is a tropical disease spread by mosquitoes that caused an estimated 445,000 deaths in 2016* alone. It is widespread in areas of sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia, South Asia, and Central and South America. Whenever you visit a malaria risk zone, it’s important that you protect yourself against the disease by practising insect bite prevention. Depending upon where you are travelling to, you may also need antimalarials (malaria tablets).
Maloff Protect is a new type of malaria tablet which can be purchased over the counter in high street pharmacies. Usually you need a prescription to obtain malaria tablets, however Maloff Protect can be purchased without one.
If you are visiting a malaria risk zone and you think you may need antimalarials, read on to find out more about how Maloff Protect works.
What is Maloff Protect?
Maloff Protect is a prescription-strength malaria tablet which is available without a prescription. It contains two types of antimalarial medication: atovaquone and proguanil. This combination of medications offers excellent protection against malaria, and is one of the available prescription treatments for travellers to malaria zones. The branded prescription only version of this antimalarial is Malarone.
Maloff Protect, like all other antimalarials, works by killing malaria parasites when they enter the bloodstream. Maloff Protect cannot prevent malaria parasites from entering the bloodstream (only insect bite avoidance can do that). However, taking Maloff Protect will allow your body to fight off the parasites.
There are five different types of malaria parasite that cause the disease in humans; different antimalarials will fight off different types of parasite at different phases in the life cycle of the parasite. The active ingredients in Maloff Protect can effectively fight off Plasmodium falciparum, which is the most dangerous and widespread malaria parasite.
How to buy Maloff Protect?
Normally, antimalarials containing atovaquone and proguanil are only available with a prescription. However you can now obtain Maloff Protect in pharmacies without a prescription.
Even if you buy Maloff Protect over the counter, it is still recommended that you talk to a doctor or nurse about your specific needs before you travel. This is because antimalarials must be taken correctly to give effective protection against malaria.
Be aware that a course of antimalarial medication must be commenced before you enter a malaria zone and continued after you leave. The period of time for which you take your malaria tablets will depend upon which type you are taking.
How do you take Maloff Protect?
Maloff Protect should be taken once a day, preferably at the same time, with food or a milky drink (this aids absorption of the medication). You should start taking Maloff Protect tablets one or two days before you enter the malaria zone where they are needed. Once in the malaria zone, you should continue to take one Maloff Protect tablet every single day. Upon leaving the malaria zone you will need to continue to take Maloff Protect for seven days.
At LloydsPharmacy you can buy Maloff Protect over the counter in packs of 24 or 36. However, if you were planning on travelling to a malaria zone for seven days you would only need to take 15 or 16 Maloff Protect tablets:
- Start one to two days before entering malaria zone
- Seven tablets to take whilst travelling through the malaria zone
- Seven tablets to take after you leave the malaria zone
You should take the full course of your tablets; stopping early puts your health at risk. If you vomit within an hour of taking your Maloff Protect tablet, you should take another one. It is not recommended that you “double up” on your Maloff Protect tablet to make up for a missed dose; just continue the course as normal when you remember.
In addition to taking Maloff Protect whilst in a high-risk malaria zone, you should also practise bite avoidance techniques. Antimalarials cannot offer full protection against malaria, so your priority should be avoiding getting bitten. You should:
- Use insect repellent on exposed areas of skin
- Wear tops with long sleeves and trousers, especially between dusk and dawn when the mosquitoes that carry malaria are most active
- Stay in protected accommodation, preferably with air conditioning and insect screens on the doors and windows
- If you are in more basic accommodation, you should sleep under a mosquito net impregnated with insecticide
- To increase your protection indoors, use plug-in insecticides
Who can use Maloff Protect?
Maloff Protect can be used by most travellers. However, you will not be able to obtain Maloff Protect over the counter if you are under 18 or weigh less than 40kg.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, suffer from certain health conditions (epilepsy, depression, tuberculosis, liver disease), or are using medications such as warfarin, you should not buy Maloff Protect over the counter. Instead you should visit a doctor or travel nurse to discuss your options.
To find a list of health conditions or medications that may prohibit the use of Maloff Protect, click here.
The safest way to use Maloff Protect is to speak to a medical professional before you make a purchase, particularly if you have never used malaria tablets before. You can make an appointment with your GP, or get a consultation from MASTA or LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor. During this appointment you can receive guidance on other travel health issues to consider, such as vaccinations.