In preparation for my trips to Laos I had to go to Reis Doctor (Travel Doctor) in Rotterdam for three vaccinations. I braved the cold, windy, and rainy day and walked to Joho Travel Doctor for a consultation appointment. Well it turned out that I didn’t have to go back for a second visit for my shots. The doctor was ready to inject me with three needles on both arms right away. An hour later, I walked out with 119 Euros less in my pockets with funny feelings, wonderding if I am going to get sick from the vaccination shots.
Being vaccinated was just a start. I still have to take malaria medication. The doctor gave me two prescriptions, one for a weekly dose, the other for the daily dose. She told me I can choose either one, depending on what kind of side effects I want to deal with.
The weekly dose is Lariam, which costs around 30 Euros. I would have to take only 10 tablets but the possible side effects put me off. I was told that 10% of the people taking Lariam will have psychological problem or halluciantions. You start three weeks before your trip so you would know if you will have any side effects after your second tablets.
The daily dose is Malarone, which costs at least three times more than Lariam. You start 1 day before your trip and each day while you are in the red zone (Malaria infected area) and one week after your return. There is very little side effect to this medication and very mild so the doctor didn’t even list it for me.
I chose to take the daily medication since the potential side effects sounded less scary.