WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Malaria is a disease that is caused by a parasite. It is usually spread through the bite of infected mosquitoes. It can also spread through infected blood, such as from a blood transfusion or sharing needles.
- Malaria medicine: This is given to kill the parasites that are causing your infection. The kind of medicine used depends on what kind of parasite is causing the malaria.
- Acetaminophen: This medicine decreases pain and fever. Acetaminophen is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
- NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions. Do not give these medicines to children under 6 months of age without direction from your child's healthcare provider.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
- Spray your clothing and skin: Apply an insect repellant to your skin, clothing, and other fabrics, such as blankets. Ask your primary healthcare provider which insect repellant is best to use. Follow directions.
- Cover your skin: Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to keep your skin covered. Do not go outside at night.
- Sleep under a mosquito net: Spray insect repellant on your mosquito net. Check your net for holes often.
- Protect your home: Put screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out. Use insecticide inside your home to kill mosquitoes that come into your house.
- Remove all standing water around your home: Mosquitoes lay their eggs and mature in water.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- Your signs and symptoms get worse or do not go away, even after treatment.
- Your signs and symptoms return after treatment.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have a severe headache.
- You are confused or sleepier than usual.
- Your skin and the whites of your eyes are yellow.
- You have a seizure.
- You have sudden shortness of breath.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.