New Anti-Malaria Prevention and Treatment Recommendations for Pregnant Traveling Mommas

New Anti-Malaria Prevention and Treatment Recommendations for Pregnant Traveling Mommas

Hey pregnant mommas living in or traveling to malaria hot spots!

The CDC is now recommending the drug, mefloquine, for malaria prevention and treatment for pregnant women in all trimesters.  Previously this drug had not been recommended for pregnant women, but this has changed due to the FDA re-categorizing the drug from a Class C to Class B drug for pregnancy.

New published data show that women who took mefloquine at various doses during pregnancy did not have an increased risk of birth defects or other adverse pregnancy outcomes compared to the the general population.  Conversely, malaria infection in pregnant women can be more severe than in nonpregnant women, increasing risks for adverse pregnancy outcomes, including prematurity, spontaneous abortion, and stillbirth.

To learn more about the new recommendations, visit the CDC.

Thank you, Amy in Uganda, for sending the update!

Related Pages:

8 Ways to Make Flying While Pregnant More Comfortable

Is It Safe and Allowed to Fly Pregnant?

Prenatal and Postnatal Exercise on the Go

Eating Healthy During Pregnancy While Traveling in Foreign Countries

3 thoughts on “New Anti-Malaria Prevention and Treatment Recommendations for Pregnant Traveling Mommas”

  • Did you ever take Mefloquine while traveling pregnant? I am heading to Liberia in a few weeks and will be only 8 weeks along. Needless to say, I wasn’t entirely planning this pregnancy! I am nervous about taking it, but it’s the rainy season there. The risk is pretty high, from what I can tell. During my first pregnancy, I didn’t take anything, not even an advil! During that pregnancy, I declined malaria meds for a trip to the Philippines, where the risk was a bit lower and fortunately I was fine.

    • Hi Elizabeth, I understand being weary about taking Mefloquine, especially early on in your first trimester. I haven’t taken it myself (or any drugs) while pregnant, either. I probably should have (in my second trimester) on our recent trip to India during the monsoons- there were lots of mosquitoes and I was bitten a lot (but luckily no illness ensued).

      If I were you I’d go to a travel clinic and talk to them about your travel plans to Liberia and your concerns about taking Mefloquine during your pregnancy. I do know that studies have shown that it is safe to take during pregnancy, and the potential risks of taking the drug are much less than the risks to the fetus if you were to contract malaria.

      I am sorry I can’t say that I took it and everything was fine. Most likely everything will be, but I can definitely understand not wanting to introduce the drugs to your system with baby in its prime developmental stage. The other option is to be super cautious- wear long sleeves and pants 24/7, sleep under a bednet (or ideally in an air-conditioned room, if that’s an option where you are traveling in Liberia, and where mosquito repellent 24/7 (maybe look at baby-safe non-DEET formulas so you don’t leech unsafe toxins through your skin to baby).

      Good-luck and let me know what you end up choosing to do, and how it goes either way!

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