Information on Doxycycline (Vibramycin®, Vibra-Tabs®)
You will be spending part of your trip in an area where chloroquine-resistant malaria is widespread. Malaria is an important cause of disease and death abroad. It is a blood infection caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which is transmitted by a mosquito bite.
Malaria can be prevented by taking medication regularly. However, since no drug is 100% effective, it is important to protect yourself against mosquito bites: use an insect repellent containing DEET, sleep under mosquito netting (preferably impregnated with permethrin), avoid perfumes, wear pale colored clothes that cover most of the body, and avoid going out in the evenings and at night. These measures are just as important as taking medicines.
Doxycyclin (Vibramycin® or Vibra-Tabs®) is recommended at the following dosage:
- 100 mg daily
Children (8 years old or more):
- 25-35 kg: 50 mg daily
- 36-50 kg: 75 mg daily
- >50 kg: adult dose
Start taking the medication on the day before departure, continue during your trip and for 4 weeks after your return.
Vaginitis (fungal infection of the vagina), diarrhea and stomach aches can occur. Gastrointestinal side effects can be alleviated by taking doxycycline at the end of a meal and/or with an important amount of liquid. You should avoid taking doxycycline before lying in bed; some person will choose to take doxycycline at lunch time.
Photosensitivity (more severe sunburns) can also occur. Photosensitivity can be prevented by using a sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more.
In case of fever
Despite taking preventive medication, fever that occurs when traveling or in the months after your return may be a sign of malaria. See a doctor immediately and tell him or her about your recent travel to a tropical area.