How does Malaria Medication Work?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jan 19, 2013

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Malaria can prove to be a deadly disease transmitted to us through mosquitoes. If one is a victim of malaria then proper medical treatment should be provided immediately. If it is detected timely and proper malaria treatment is given then it is curable. There are various types of parasites through which this disease is transmitted and each type will have and show different signs and symptoms of malaria. Uncomplicated malaria can be cured by using anti-malarial drugs and those with complicated malaria, need to be hospitalised.

The two types of anti-malarial drugs are: suppressive and casual. The former cures malaria in the bloodstream and the latter kills it before the parasite reaches the bloodstream. Suppressive antibiotics are quinine, chloroquine, mefloquine, doxycycline, and tetracycline. But their long term use can have side effects such as hair and hearing loss, liver and kidney damage.

Chloroquine is a synthetic drug. However, as it was frequently used as malaria medication, the malaria parasite gained resistance to it. The dosage of chloroquine is as follows:


  • One week (in malaria infected area).
  • Two weeks (before entering the area).
  • Four weeks (after leaving).


It is necessary to complete the course to avoid recurrence. Where the parasite is resistant to chloroquine then mefloquine or doxycycline are used. These medications have side effects such as dizziness, fatigue, nightmares, hallucination, and depression.

The best way therefore to treat malaria is to prevent it by using mosquito repellents, mosquito nets and by applying creams such as odomos. In case malaria recurs it means that the earlier effect of medicine is over and that treatment was not accurate.

Therefore, there are three things which are taken into consideration while recommending a treatment.


  • The type of parasite.
  • If it is complicated or uncomplicated malaria.
  • Lastly, the place from where the infection is acquired.


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