Medication Information Leaflet

What are these medications for?

Anti-malarial medications can be taken to protect yourself from malaria, before traveling to an area that is known to be at risk. As malaria is commonly spread to humans through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito, it is important to note that medications do not offer complete protection and you should still take necessary precautions to avoid getting bitten during your travel.

They may include medications such as:

How should I take these medications?

  • Check with your healthcare provider if you need any medications to prevent malaria, by providing which places you will be traveling to. You should also include information such as the province, state or district of the country. The risk of malaria and resistance to anti-malarial medications may differ within a country.
  • Also provide the following information as they can affect the choice of anti-malarial medication you need:
    • When will your trip be?
    • Who will be going on this trip? Age and any pre-existing medical conditions?
    • Duration of your trip?
    • Will you be traveling to areas that are likely to have mosquitoes (e.g. forested areas, rural areas, etc.)?
    • Are you or your companions pregnant or breastfeeding?
  • Take these medications as recommended by your healthcare professional. Consult your healthcare professional if you are not sure how to take these medications correctly.
  • You will be required to take anti-malarial medication before, during and after your travel. The duration that you need to take may differ according to the choice of medication.
  • Take the tablet on a full stomach with a glass of water.
  • Complete the course of the medication as adherence is key to ensure adequate protection from malaria.
  • Do not stop taking your medication without checking with your healthcare professional.

What should I do if I forget to take these medications?

Anti-malarials should be taken regularly as recommended to give you the best protection against malaria. Do not stop taking your medication without checking with your healthcare professional. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue normally. Do not take two doses or extra medication to make up for the missed dose.

What precautions should I take when taking these medications?

Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to anti-malarials, or any other ingredients used in these medications.
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies.
  • You have a history of liver disease, kidney disease, epilepsy, psychiatric disorders, heart conduction abnormalities or other chronic diseases.
  • You have a condition known as G6PD deficiency.

If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately.

For some of these medications, women of childbearing age need to take measures to avoid pregnancy while on them and for a period after the last dose. Consult your healthcare professional on the period to avoid pregnancy as this duration is different for each anti-malarial.

Even if you follow all recommendations to protect against malaria, you may still get malaria. Signs of malaria include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle ache
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Yellow coloring of the eyes and skin

If you experience any of these symptoms particularly within 3 months of your return, you should see a doctor immediately. Do not attempt to self-treat.

What are some common side effects of these medications?

Anti-malarials may cause the following side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Dizziness 
  • Stomach discomfort

These side effects are usually mild and go away after some time. However, if the symptoms do not go away or become worse, stop these medications and consult your healthcare professional.

What are some rare but serious side effects that I need to see a doctor immediately?

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following: 

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop these medications and see your doctor immediately.

Other symptoms of rare but serious side effects of these medications include:

  • Acute anxiety (feeling nervous or anxious)
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Confusion
  • Severe dizziness
  • Hallucinations
  • Vision changes
  • Ringing in the ear
  • Dark urine or light coloured stools, yellowing of your eyes or skin

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop these medications and see your doctor immediately.

What food or medication should I avoid when I take these medications?

Let your healthcare professional know if you are taking, or planning to take any herbal products, supplements or medications. 

As these anti-malarial medications may interact with some medications or supplement, they should be taken at least 2 hours apart from these products. 

How should I store these medications?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep these medications away from children. 

How do I throw these medications away safely?

Pack these medications into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing it into the rubbish chute or bin.


This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

The information above is solely for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medicine or other treatment. Always speak with your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional before taking any medicine or supplement, or adopting any treatment for a health problem. Under no circumstances will the National Medication Information workgroup be liable to any person for damages of any nature arising in any way from the use of such information.

Last updated on September 2023

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