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katertot1978
Hello!

I am going to Colombia in three weeks. I am wondering what other travellers' opinions are about taking the malaria pills. (I tend to attract a lot of mosquitos, even when using good repellant.)

Also, I'm assuming that the pills are available in Colombian pharmacies for much less than in the States. Is this the case, how much are the pills, and what are they called?

I appreciate any suggestions, opinions, and information.

Thanks,
Katy
mmbcross
Unless you are going to the Colombian Amazon or hiking the coastal Caribbean forests, you won't need malaria pills. Even in the jungle the use of malaria pills is debatable.
http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/colombia.aspx
The CDC is always overcautious! If you took all their advice you would probably never leave your home. Take it all with a pinch of salt.

I've lived in Latin America for over 30 years and never taken a malaria pill. Nevertheless, the final decision is your call. It's whatever you are comfortable with. If your worry about malaria is going to ruin your visit, then go ahead and take your medicine.

Is it cheaper in Colombia? You bet! Generally most drugs in South America are made locally by the same companies (or under license) as we see here in North America.
http://www.drugs.com/malarone.html
http://www.drugs.com/cdi/mefloquine.html - this is generic, so it shouldn't cost too much.
http://www.drugs.com/cons/primaquine.html

Although these precise named drugs may not be available in Colombia, there will be alternatives. Trust the pharmacist.

Keep in mind you have to take these pills two or three days before entering a malarial zone.

starlagurl
I think the general consensus about malaria pills is: "if you're not going into the jungle you don't need them".

Please correct me if you think I'm wrong, because I don't have much of an idea about that.
mcguinnessdave
Hi Katy,

Yes, previous posters are right that generally you don't need malaria pills for Colombia, unless you are going out into the jungle. This means both the Colombian Amazon, accessible from Leticia (you fly here from Bogota) or the Lost city trek (or something similar). Both have very high densities of mosquitos and long sleeves, long trousers and a mozzy repellent with a high DEET content would also be strongly advised.

Regarding the price, I'm pretty sure that for Larium, which is what you should be taking if you do go to thse areas then there will be no price difference (or a very small one). They should however be realitively easily available in any major city.

Generally speaking if you are paying much less than you do in the US then you are not getting real Larium, and that is a real risk.

Hope this helps,
Dave
katertot1978
Thank you very much for an informative and honest reply!
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