Re: advance treatment malaria
Hi there, this is an excellent question. Depending on which area you are going to, the best way to protect yourself from Malaria is to minimize the number of mosquito bites you get at night time. This includes using mosquito repellants containing DEET as well as sleeping with mosquito nets.
The second thing is using malarial prophylaxis pills. There are a number of regimens available each of which has its ups and downs.
One of the most common is mefloquine. This pill is taken once a week starting two weeks before the trip, weekly while you're in the area and then weekly for two weeks upon returning home. The weekly dosing is nice, and mefloquine is very active against even the most resistant strains of malaria; however, there can be weird psychiatric side-effects such as hallucinations and even worsening of existing depression in certain people. Mefloquine should NOT be used if you are going near the Thailand/Burma/Vietnam border areas, or to Papua New Guinea as mefloquine resistance has been seen.
Doxycycline: This is a once a day drug that is taken a few days before going, every day while you're there and I believe for abut 4 weeks after you come back. It's nice if you're going to Africa because it's active against malaria, but also certain rickettsial diseases which are one of the three most common travel-associated infections in Africa.
Malarone (Atovaquone/Proguanil) this drug is nice because there are almost no side-effects, it is started two days before the trip, every day while you're there, and then only two days after you get back. The drawback to this drug is cost as it is very expensive if you don't have a drug plan.
Chloroquine itself can also be used for prophylaxis, though most places in the world have chloroquine resistance, and it's not the best idea to use it in this case.