Maloff Protect

Maloff protect is a medication used to prevent malaria if you’re travelling to a high-risk country. These are countries where malaria is more common, so you’re more likely to catch it without treatment. Maloff protect is available over the counter and contains the active ingredients atovaquone and proguanil. While we do not currently provide Maloff Protect, we do provide Generic Malarone, which contains the same ingredients and works in the same way to prevent malaria.

Dr Babak Ashrafi Clinical Lead for Service Development

Medically reviewed by

Dr Babak Ashrafi

Last reviewed: 28 Sep 2023

What is Maloff Protect?

Maloff Protect is the first over the counter malaria prevention treatment in the UK. It is a version of Malarone, another drug which contains the same active ingredients: atovaquone and proguanil. It’s used to prevent malaria in people who are travelling to areas where the disease is commonly found.

Malaria is serious and potentially life-threatening, but Maloff Protect can help reduce the risk of catching it. Malaria normally causes fever, headache, muscle pain and fatigue, and in severe cases, it can lead to complications such as organ failure and death. It is caused by a parasite that can get into your blood when an infected mosquito bites you, and Maloff Protect works by killing it.

What is the difference between Maloff Protect and other antimalarials?

There are several differences between Maloff Protect and other antimalarials. Malarone contains the same active ingredients, however it is only available on prescription through a doctor, as are generic atovaquone and proguanil tablets. These options may be cheaper than Maloff Protect, which is available over the counter without a prescription.

Doxycycline is another antimalarial. It is the cheapest option, and it works by using tetracycline antibiotics to protect you from malaria. Doxycycline can cause side effects, such as making your skin more sensitive to the sun.

View all antimalarials available from Superdrug Online Doctor.

How Does Maloff Protect Work?

Malaria is caused by a parasite called plasmodium falciparum, which can be transmitted into your blood if an infected mosquito bites you. Maloff Protect works by killing this parasite, which helps to prevent you from developing malaria.

It achieves this with its active ingredients atovaquone and proguanil. Atovaquone stops the malaria parasite’s reproduction and eliminates it. While Proguanil prevents the malaria parasites from reproducing once they have entered the red blood cells. It also works in conjunction with atovaquone, to enhance its effectiveness.

How Long do Maloff Protect Tablets Take to Work?

Maloff Protect begins to work as soon as you take it but needs at least 1 day to become fully effective. You should continue taking Maloff Protect for 7 days after leaving the area.

How effective is Maloff Protect at preventing malaria?

Studies have shown that atovaquone/proguanil, the active ingredients in Maloff Protect, are 95.8% effective against malaria. Combining taking Maloff Protect with other preventative measures, such as using bed nets and mosquito repellent, can help to further reduce your risk of infection. Since no medication can be guaranteed 100% effective, it is strongly recommended that you take general precautions to protect yourself against malaria even if you are taking preventative medication.

How To Take Maloff Protect

Maloff Protect should be taken daily, ideally at the same time each day, as follows:

  • start taking Maloff Protect 1 to 2 days before arrival in an area with high prevalence of malaria
  • take it each day (at the same time)
  • continue to take it for 7 days after returning to a malaria-free area

If you can, take Maloff Protect with a milky drink or some food, as it helps your body absorb the active ingredients. Follow these dosing instructions for Maloff Protect carefully, as not doing so can reduce its effectiveness and increase your chances of getting malaria.

What if I vomit?

If you vomit within 1 hour of taking a tablet, take another one straight away. If you vomit more than 1 hour after taking it, you do not need to take another one until your next dose is due. If you continue to vomit, seek medical attention as this could be a sign of a malaria infection, especially if you have other malaria symptoms.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take another tablet as soon as possible and then continue your course as normal. Do not double dose to make up for a missed dose.

Why do I need to keep taking treatment once I’ve returned home?

It is important to continue taking Maloff Protect for 7 days after leaving an area where malaria is prevalent because this makes sure there’s still an effective level of the drug in your system. This ensures that any malaria parasites that are lingering in your system are eliminated by Maloff Protect and do not cause an infection.

Where Can I Buy Maloff Protect?

You can buy Maloff Protect online or over the counter at local pharmacies. Make sure to always use a trusted and regulated retailer.

Can I get Maloff Protect tablets on the NHS?

No, you cannot get Maloff Protect or other antimalarials such as Malarone and generic atovaquone/proguanil on the NHS. They are only available through private pharmacies and health providers.

Can I buy Maloff Protect tablets over the counter?

Yes, Maloff Protect is available over the counter.

Maloff Protect Side Effects

Like all medications, Maloff Protect can cause side effects for some people, however not everyone will get them.

Very common side effects which may affect more than 1 in 10 people include:

  • headache
  • feeling sick and being sick (nausea and vomiting)
  • stomach pain
  • diarrhoea

Common side effects which may affect up to 1 in 10 people include:

  • dizziness
  • difficulty getting to sleep (insomnia)
  • strange dreams
  • depression
  • reduced appetite
  • fever
  • rash
  • cough
  • allergic reactions
  • itching

Uncommon side effects which may affect up to 1 to 100 people include:

  • anxiety
  • heart palpitations
  • redness and swelling of the mouth
  • red patches and swelling on the skin (hives)
  • hair loss

Some side effects can show up in your blood, and very few people may experience severe reactions to Maloff Protect. For an extensive list of possible side effects, please see page 5 of the patient leaflet.

How long do side effects of Maloff Protect last?

Side effects can last for varying periods of time depending on the individual and the side effect. Most side effects are mild and pass quickly.

What should I do if I get side effects?

If you get side effects, you should speak to a doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to give you advice depending on what you are experiencing. If the side effects are severe or persistent, seek medical attention immediately.

Who Can Take Maloff Protect?

Maloff Protect is suitable for most adults over 40kg. However, Maloff Protect may be unsuitable for some people.

Do not take Maloff Protect if you:

  • are allergic to atovaquone and/or proguanil hydrochloride or any of the ingredients, which are listed in the patient leaflet
  • have kidney and/or liver disease

Speak to your doctor or pharmacist first before taking Maloff Protect if you:

  • are breastfeeding, pregnant or think you may be pregnant
  • are under 18 years old or weigh less than 40 kg
  • have ever had epilepsy, convulsions or fits
  • have depression
  • have tuberculosis

Do not take Maloff Protect if you take any of these medicines:

  • etoposide, used to treat cancer
  • metoclopramide, used to treat nausea and vomiting
  • the antibiotics tetracycline, rifampicin or rifabutin
  • indinavir, efavirenz, zidovudine or certain medicines called protease inhibitors, used to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • warfarin, other coumarin based anticoagulants, or new oral anticoagulants (NOACs) including dabigatran etexilate, rivaroxaban, and apixaban

If you take any of these and need protection from malaria, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

Alternatives To Maloff Protect

There are several alternatives to Maloff Protect available from Superdrug Online Doctor. These include Malarone, generic atovaquone and proguanil, and Doxycycline.

Maloff Protect vs Malarone

There is no difference between Maloff Protect and Malarone. They both contain the same dose of the active ingredients atovaquone and proguanil. The only difference between these treatments is the price and that Maloff Protect is available over the counter.

Maloff Protect vs Atovaquone and Proguanil

There is no difference between Maloff Protect and generic Atovaquone and Proguanil. They both contain the same dose of the active ingredients atovaquone and proguanil. Maloff Protect is a new brand which is available over the counter, whereas generic Atovaquone and Proguanil are prescription only.

Maloff Protect vs Doxycycline

Maloff Protect works using atovaquone and proguanil, whereas Doxycycline works using tetracycline antibiotics. Doxycycline is cheaper, but it can also cause side effects such as increasing your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. It is not available over the counter and requires a prescription.

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