Depending on where you are traveling you will need to take malaria medication. Places like Honduras and Thailand recommend taking malaria meds. One of the malaria meds that is often prescribed is Malarone. If you are having to take Malaron while traveling you may have some questions about whether or not you can drink while taking Malaron. 

Is it safe to drink while taking malaria pills like Malarone?

Can you drink alcohol while taking Malarone?

Sipping cocktails at Novotel Karon Beach

Sometimes while taking medicine, we are tempted to have a glass of wine or a mug of beer. We may wonder if this will affect the way that a given medicine works. Most patients are aware that combining drugs with alcohol can be dangerous. However, there are situations when, despite using the medicine, we take the risk and reach for a glass. 

Especially when traveling, remember that combining some pharmaceuticals with alcohol can have severe effects on your health. Be careful because you may have limited access to a doctor when traveling. When going abroad, it is crucial doing the required vaccinations and bringing the medications you are taking daily. To learn how to complete a first aid kit with travel medicines, please visit www.medicinedirect.co.uk/travel-general-health.

What is Malarone?

Malarone is a drug that has a lethal effect on Plasmodium falciparum, which causes malaria. Malarone tablets are used either to treat and to prevent malaria. It is an acute or chronic tropical parasitic disease that is transmitted by a mosquito, mainly in Africa, south of the Sahara. The malaria vector (an organism carrying pathogens) that transfers it between sick and healthy people are female Anopheles mosquitoes. 

The active substances in Malarone (atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride) kill one of the parasites’ developmental forms by disrupting the replication of its nucleic acids. Preventive medication should be started 24-48 h before being in the endemic area of malaria. The treatment should continue throughout the entire stay in the endemic area and then for 7 days after leaving it.

Protection against mosquitos

While using Malarone, you should protect yourself against malaria infection. Use insect repellents, wear clothes covering the largest possible surface of the body (especially after sunset – the insects are then more active than during the day), sleep in a secured room, e.g., with a mosquito net or window safety nets. 

It has been proven that drinking beer increases the number of mosquitoes that sit on human skin. Researchers are calling for alcohol avoidance to become one of the health services recommendations for preventing malaria. After drinking alcohol, our blood becomes more attractive to insects. It was examined that alcohol certainly raises body temperature, and ethanol can also be found in secreted sweat on the surface of your skin. These factors could affect the appearance of mosquitoes in your surroundings.

Side effects when mixing malaria drugs with alcohol

Hotel Mousai rooftop pool

Hotel Mousai rooftop pool

It was considered possible that alcohol might precipitate nausea and vomiting. Research shows that taking Malarone with alcohol does not cause a sudden adverse reaction, and you can avoid all kinds of consequences, and eventually notice nothing. However, we can damage a specific receptor or cellular structure and face the consequences of drinking alcohol together with drugs for the rest of our lives.

The first organ that will suffer the most from the combination of drugs and alcohol is the liver. The liver metabolizes many drugs and toxins. Its task is to metabolize alcohol to acetaldehyde, and you should not make it harder than it is.

Avoid also drinking alcohol with grapefruit juice, which inhibits the enzyme – cytochrome P450 – responsible for the metabolism of drugs and alcohol itself. Such a mixture can even kill you. The unpleasant consequence may be irreversible liver damage or cirrhosis of this organ. The body’s response to even a small amount of alcohol can be immediate and manifested in, among others: facial flushing, nausea and vomiting, tachycardia, arrhythmias, and dizziness.

Alcohol, other drugs, and your kidneys

Drinking alcohol is one of the unforgivable habits that destroy your kidneys. It is particularly dangerous in the elderly or with mild or moderate hepatic or renal impairment. Your doctor will tell you not to use Malarone to prevent malaria when you have severe kidney failure. Pain in internal organs, especially the kidneys, after drinking alcohol, is not uncommon. It is since kidneys support the cleansing of the body, and also filter blood after drinking alcohol. Malarone itself affects the effects of other drugs and sometimes interacts with them, so if you decide to pour alcohol on it, you may end up in the hospital.

Summary

Even if combining alcohol with Malarone does not cause adverse side effects like vomiting or nausea, it is worth knowing that alcohol causes not only these easily noticeable symptoms. The liver is an organ that is necessary for the process of metabolizing drugs and alcohol. Please, take care of it, because some changes caused by alcohol consumption may be irreversible and can haunt you all your life. It is best to paraphrase the golden rule of drivers: If you have drunk alcohol – do not get behind the wheel. In terms of consuming drugs, it could be: Do not drink while taking medicines. Remember always to use Malarone precisely as prescribed by your doctor.