Q:

Can I buy malaria tablets over the counter?

A:

Quick Answer

In the United States, anti-malarial pills are only available with a doctor's prescription. This is for safety reasons, as taking the wrong type of malaria medication before being exposed to the parasite not only does not prevent infection, but also leads to drug-resistant strains of malaria.

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Full Answer

There are four anti-malarial medication available in the United States. The most common is Chloroquine, an effective medication with relatively few side effects. However, some areas have developed strains of malaria that are largely resistant to Chloroquine. Travellers going to these areas are often prescribed a different drug. The spread of drug-resistant malaria limits which medicines are effective in which areas, and is the primary reason malaria treatment in the United States is routed through medical professionals.

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