Malarone is a medication for malaria prophylaxis. Like all types of malaria tablets, it can cause side effects in some patients. Compared to all other available antimalarials, Malarone less commonly causes side effects.

Most known side effects of Malarone are mild and pass quickly.

Very Common Side Effects

The most common side effects of Malarone are headache, nausea and being sick, stomach pain and diarrhoea. These side effects often improve as your body gets used to the medication. To alleviate them, you should stick to simple foods such as plain rice or pasta and drink plenty of water until you feel better. If you are sick within one hour of taking your daily Malarone tablet, you need to take another dose to make sure you remain protected against malaria. You can take an over-the-counter painkiller such as paracetamol or ibuprofen if you get a headache. Should any of these side effects bother you or persist you need to speak to a doctor or pharmacist.

Common Side Effects

Common side effects are side effects which affect up to one in ten people who use a certain medication. Common side effects of Malarone are dizziness, depression and sleeping problems. People who take Malarone to experience unusual dreams, fever, an itchy rash, a cough, or to find that their appetite decreases.

Uncommon Side Effects

Side effects are referred to as uncommon if no more than one in 100 people who use a medication experience them. In the case of Malarone, uncommon side effects are anxiety, palpitations, hair loss and swelling or redness of the mouth. It has also been observed that during a course of Malarone, results from blood tests may show an increase in certain enzymes, or a decrease in some blood tests. If you have a blood test done while taking an antimalarial you should let your doctor know that you are currently taking malaria tablets.

Rare Side Effects

Rare side effects are adverse reactions which affect no more than one in 1000 people who take a medication. In rare cases, Malarone has been found to cause hallucinations.

Other Side Effects

There are other side effects of Malarone, the frequency of which is not known, as they only occur in a very small number of people.

These include:

  • severe allergic reaction
  • hepatitis (inflammation of the liver)
  • blockage of the bile ducts
  • inflammation of the blood vessels
  • increased heart rate
  • panic attacks and crying
  • seizures
  • nightmares
  • mental health issues such as psychosis
  • mouth ulcers
  • peeling skin and blisters
  • increased sensitivity to sunlight
  • unusual blood test results.
  • reduction in blood cells leading to anaemia or low white blood cells
Read the Malarone patient leaflet if you would like to find out more about side effects. If you have any questions about your medications or any side effect you are experiencing ask a doctor or a pharmacist.

Severe Reactions

Allergic reactions

It is important that you stop taking Malarone immediately if you notice the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions can cause severe symptoms and they can be dangerous. An allergic reaction to medication may cause an itchy rash, difficulty breathing, wheezing or facial swellings.

Skin Reactions

Malarone can sometimes cause skin rash and blisters. The rash may consist of dark spots with a dark ring around the edge. It may result in peeling skin, especially around the mouth. If you develop a rash while taking Malarone you need to seek medical help immediately, especially if the rash covers a large area of your body, as it can progress to a dangerous skin reaction.