Malarone vs. Chloroquine – Which is the Best Antimalarial?


13 Nov 2023



Malaria, a disease transmitted by mosquitoes, poses a significant risk to travelers visiting affected regions across 87 countries and territories. 

When it comes to preventing malaria, two commonly used medications, Malarone and Chloroquine, offer protection with distinct characteristics.

About Chloroquine

Chloroquine is a widely-used antimalarial medication with a history of effectiveness.

Typically taken as a weekly dosage, it helps to combat the malaria parasite, providing protection throughout the travel period.

Pros of using Chloroquine

Understanding the advantages of Chloroquine can help travelers make an informed decision.

  • Cost-Effective: Chloroquine may be a more budget-friendly choice, making it appealing to cost-conscious travelers – although not in all cases.
  • Weekly Administration: Chloroquine requires only weekly administration, simplifying the dosage routine.

Cons of using Chloroquine

While Chloroquine has its merits, it’s crucial to be aware of potential drawbacks:

  • Side Effects: Some individuals may experience side effects like dizziness, light-headedness, vision problems and irregular heartbeat.
  • Timeline: Starting the medication a week before travel and continuing for four weeks after returning may be inconvenient for some travelers.
  • Low Effectiveness (in Certain Areas): Chloroquine has been shown to have low effectiveness in areas with “multi-drug resistant strains” of malaria.

What to know about Malarone

Malarone, another popular antimalarial, is often most-preferred among doctors and travelers.

Pros of using Malarone

Understanding the advantages of Malarone can help travelers assess their options.

  • Milder Side Effects: Malarone typically causes fewer and milder side effects compared to Chloroquine, enhancing overall tolerability.
  • Quick Onset: Malarone takes effect relatively quickly, providing swift protection against malaria exposure.
  • Online Prescription: Convenient telehealth options like Runway Health offer online prescriptions at a lower cost than traditional clinics & pharmacies, with the added benefit of free shipping & delivery to your doorstep. You can find it here.

See Malarone pricing

Cons of using Malarone

However, it’s essential to be aware of potential drawbacks:

  • Daily Use: Unlike Chloroquine’s weekly regimen, Malarone requires daily administration during the trip.
  • Affordability: Opting for Malarone through an in-person clinic may exceed $200, emphasizing the value of the more affordable online prescription.

Which is better for preventing malaria during travel – Malarone or Chloroquine?

Choosing between Malarone and Chloroquine involves a few different factors:

Frequency of Administration

If the appeal of a weekly dose aligns with your preferences, Chloroquine might be suitable. If daily administration is manageable, Malarone may be the preferred choice.

Health Conditions

Individuals with specific health conditions should weigh the potential impact of Chloroquine’s side effects. Malarone, with its milder side effects, may offer a more comfortable experience for some travelers.

Cost Considerations

While Chloroquine may be more cost-effective, travelers should balance this against potential side effects. Malarone, despite being pricier, might be preferred for those prioritizing a smoother and more tolerable experience.

Trip Duration

The trip’s duration plays a role, with Malarone’s shorter regimen appealing to those seeking a quicker conclusion to the medication.


Chloroquine may be less effective in areas with Chloroquine-resistant strains of malaria – while Malarone may provide more robust protection. This is another reason many doctors recommend Malarone over Chloroquine.

Final Thoughts on Malarone vs. Chloroquine

In the Malarone vs. Chloroquine debate, no one-size-fits-all answer exists. 

Both medications offer effective malaria prevention, but the choice depends on individual preferences, health conditions, and budget considerations.

Some final considerations:

  • Strictly Follow Prescription: Don’t double-dose if you miss a day or week – use Runway Health’s chat-based care with a doctor on your travels.
  • Prioritize Health and Comfort: While cost matters, prioritize health and comfort during travel, factoring in potential side effects.

If needed, refer back to this article to ensure your travels are safe and enjoyable. Your doctor will help you make a choice rooted in your individual situation – for a trip that is not only remarkable, but also prioritizes your well-being!

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