Malaria infection during pregnancy
brings substantial risks for the pregnant woman and her foetus along with the
new-born child. So, it is advisable not to travel to places where malaria is
spread while you are pregnant. Even if you have to go there, it is good to
speak to your doctor who is looking after you right now. In any case, you
should not take any anti-malarial medicine without consulting your doctor.
Malaria during Pregnancy
Malaria is a very
serious illness especially when it comes to pregnant women because it results
in severe discomfort and is sometimes fatal too. It affects both, the mother
and the child. So, it is always good to avoid mosquitoes because malaria is
caused by infected mosquito bite. If you have to travel to any malaria prone
area and you are pregnant, take advice from your
Anti-Malarial Drugs and Their
Effects on Pregnancy
Have a quick
look at the anti-malarial drugs and their effects on pregnancy.
may interfere with folic acid metabolism. Animal experiments have
shown that administration of very high doses during the baby's organ
development may give rise to birth defects typical of folic acid
antagonism. If pyrimethamine is given during pregnancy, folic
acid supplementation may be
is useful in the suppression and treatment of malaria. It has a rapid
schizonticidal effect. Chloroquine and related substances may cause
neurological disturbances in the foetus and interference with hearing, balance
and vision. The use of these drugs in the prophylaxis of malaria is
accepted because the small risk to the foetus with the low doses used is
outweighed by the benefits to the mother and foetus. The use of
higher doses in the treatment of malaria and in the second line treatment of
liver amoebiasis is accepted because the lifesaving benefits of the treatment
to the mother and the foetus outweigh the
a highly active blood schizonticide also suppresses the asexual cycle of
development of malarial parasites in the erythrocytes (red blood cells).
Quinine (and quinidine) in high doses causes foetal injuries in the form of
deafness, developmental disturbances and malformations of the extremities and
cranium. Its ability to induce uterine contractions also causes a
risk of miscarriage.
Pyrimethamine may interfere with
folic acid metabolism. Sulfadoxine may cause jaundice
in babies during the first month of life by displacing bilirubin from
plasma albumin. Sulfadoxine should therefore be avoided as far as
possible during the last month of pregnancy.
High doses may affect the
Renal and liver
Taking Anti-Malarial Drugs during Pregnancy
obstetrician will advise you which anti-malarial drugs you should take. Make sure
you take the medicine as and when prescribed. The type of medication is
prescribed considering the place where you are going. The parasites causing
malaria are different and have different effects in various parts of the world.
Your doctor will have proper and updated knowledge of the kind of medicine that
would be effective in the part of the world you are
There are some medicines which are safe during
pregnancy which can be taken only if they are prescribed by an obstetrician.
Combination of Chloroquine and
Combination of chloroquine and proguanil
is usually recommended during pregnancy. The only thing is that this does not
give much protection against malaria in many regions. Such medicines should be
taken only if they are prescribed by an
Avoid taking doxycycline
completely during pregnancy.
Atovaquone lacks any evidence of
whether it is safe to be taken during pregnancy or not. So, you should avoid it
as far as possible.
Tips to Avoid Malaria during
The best thing is to avoid
mosquito bite. For this you can take following
Cover your arms and legs after
sunset by wearing full sleeves and trousers.
Use mosquito repellent on your
skin. Make sure you choose the one that is specially recommended to be used
It is safe and good to sleep under
a mosquito net.
Ideally pregnant women should stay
indoors especially between dusk to dawn.
Keep your house and surroundings
Mosquitoes thrive in stagnant
water so do not let the water get stagnated in your surroundings.
Finding effects of anti-malarial medicines to cure
malaria on pregnant women is difficult because these women are usually not
tested and are excluded from clinical trials fearing potential damages to the
woman and the foetus.
Since pregnant women are more
susceptible to the disease, it is good to avoid the circumstances in the first
place. It is not just that a woman who is pregnant might get infected with
malaria. She can be susceptible to re-occurrence of malaria and develop severe
during this period. One can even die due to complications because malaria
contributes significantly to foetal and maternal mortality.
The history of travels done by the pregnant woman should be
taken under consideration especially if it includes unexplained fever or
anaemia. No matter whether the fever was high or of low-grade or even if it is
absent, a visit to the doctor is recommended before and after the journey. Some
of the symptoms may include cough, headache and diarrhoea. However, anaemia is
a common symptom and sometimes the only clue especially in endemic areas.
Treatment of malaria during pregnancy becomes difficult
because of the restrictions on anti-malarial agents. So, take preventive measures
and stay cautious and safe throughout the pregnancy
Sorry. Due to our site's regulations and policies, your message has not been posted. Our moderating team has been notified about your message. If the message is found to be genuine and still did not get posted, you may not post the message again as it will automatically get posted for you within 24hrs time (excluding weekends).
- The Indiaparenting Team