We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

US travelers-- antimalarials-- Is this normal?

Which Roatan hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
23 posts
Save Topic
US travelers-- antimalarials-- Is this normal?

We are prepping for our upcoming trip to Roatan and were planning to take antimalarials. My kids' pediatrician's nurse practitioner is just ordering the meds for the kids no problem. I assumed that it would be the same for my husband and I, but our family doc is referring us to an infectious disease specialist with a higher specialist copay. Considering that this is prophylactic and nothing is wrong with us, this kind of feels like highway robbery, but maybe our pediatrician's office is just easy to work with compared to other docs.

Is this the norm in the US? Should I try other docs in the area? Granted, I'm sure a doc that hadn't seen us before would want us to come in before writing any prescriptions, but at least another general practitioner would be a regular copay vs. a specialist. Thoughts?

South Dakota
Level Contributor
352 posts
74 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: US travelers-- antimalarials-- Is this normal?

I think they are giving you the run around:( Our family Doc wrote prescriptions for my husband and I no problem. Sounds like the nurse practitioner knows better than your family doc:( Good luck

Menlo Park...
Level Contributor
5,080 posts
84 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: US travelers-- antimalarials-- Is this normal?

the standard adult dose of malaria preventative meds is 2x200mg hydroxychloroquine. It's what the US-CDC recommends for travel to malarial areas on the western hemisphere. Canadian folks like Malarone, which the CDC recommends against. Taken weekly before during and after your trip. I would think that any HMO or insurance plan would make it available basically free so they don't get stuck with a sick subscriber. Not being a doctor I don't know if there is something about your particular health condition that would lead him/her to want to get a higher opinion. But it sounds like a run-around. I would think that if they visited the CDC web site it would give them the courage to write a Rx for you with no further hassle.

Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
23 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: US travelers-- antimalarials-- Is this normal?

Nope, nothing else going on with our health. Insurance covers the meds at $10US each, but we have to get the prescription. However, I've been calling around trying to get in to another dr as new patients, and I can't get in before the date we need to start meds. I'm not happy with our dr at this point. I feeling more and more like this is an absurd waste of money and other healthcare resources. Grrr!

Roatan, Honduras
Level Contributor
1,498 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: US travelers-- antimalarials-- Is this normal?

dhauk,

Years ago the CDC reccomended Chloroqine and suggested not using malarone in non chloroquine resistant areas unless needed for other reasons however for quite a few years now Malarone gets the same reccomendation from the CDC as Chloroquine

Moses Lake...
Level Contributor
155 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: US travelers-- antimalarials-- Is this normal?

Our doctor wouldn't write one either, we had to go to their travel specialist and I felt just the way you do. Good lord don't we give them enough money. So I feel your pain.

Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
23 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: US travelers-- antimalarials-- Is this normal?

And we wonder why our healthcare is so expensive here and why it sometimes takes weeks or months to get in to see a specialist if you actually NEED one. Capitalism at its finest. I've found some docs that would do it but can't get us in until it's too late. We'll probably just bite the bullet on this one and chalk it up to a lesson learned about waiting until a few weeks before our trip to take care of it, but I think the practice just lost a couple of patients for future visits over this.

USA
Level Contributor
109 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: US travelers-- antimalarials-- Is this normal?

You could find a doctor or office that specializes in travel medicine if you're in a bigger city. Your family doctor should be able to handle this. WIth kids, finding one shouldn't be too hard.

Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
23 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: US travelers-- antimalarials-- Is this normal?

It's the general practioner that is causing all of this. (The kids' pediatrician has them covered no problem.) Just found out that they code it so that copay doesn't apply and any vaccines received during that appt aren't typically covered either even though they would otherwise be covered at 100% at a regular Dr appt.

I finally did find a travel clinic sponsored by a local medical school that sees patients at a chain grocery store pharmacy for a flat fee. The flat fee is less than what the Dr office was quoting, the hours are much better, and we'll skip any recommended vaccines that we can get covered at a Dr appt.

What a headache for something so simple. For once, even the insurance company agreed with me that this is ridiculous. I'll be looking for a new Dr after all of this. At least I'm fairly certain Roatan will be worth it!

Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
23 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: US travelers-- antimalarials-- Is this normal?

It's the general practioner that is causing all of this. (The kids' pediatrician has them covered no problem.) Just found out that they code it so that copay doesn't apply and any vaccines received during that appt aren't typically covered either even though they would otherwise be covered at 100% at a regular Dr appt.

I finally did find a travel clinic sponsored by a local medical school that sees patients at a chain grocery store pharmacy for a flat fee. The flat fee is less than what the Dr office was quoting, the hours are much better, and we'll skip any recommended vaccines that we can get covered at a Dr appt.

What a headache for something so simple. For once, even the insurance company agreed with me that this is ridiculous. I'll be looking for a new Dr after all of this. At least I'm fairly certain Roatan will be worth it!

Dexter, Michigan
Level Contributor
43 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: US travelers-- antimalarials-- Is this normal?

Doubt your doc is ripping you off. More likely he is just stupid. US docs seldom know about malaria. Yes, it is on Roatan. Choloroquine still works and side effects are minimal. I always buy it when I arrive on any CA trip. Costs pennies a pill. Aralen is the trade name. YES... you are advised to start in advance but that isnt necessary. Important thing is to continue to take for the month after leaving. There will be some crystal waver saying you don't need them. Fortunately there are fewer such posts each year as they die off.