Will anti-malaria pills give me nightmares and heartburn? 

As part of a weekly series, in association with LloydsPharmacy, Suresh Bagga from LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor answers your common medicine queries… 

Q: I’ve heard anti-malaria pills can give you nightmares and heartburn. What do you recommend?

A: There are several different anti-malaria medications and deciding which one to take will depend on where you’re travelling to (mosquitoes have developed resistance to some tablets in certain parts of the world), your medical history (certain anti-malaria tablets are not suitable during pregnancy, for instance, or for people with epilepsy) and age (some medications can’t be taken by children under 12).

The length of time you take the tablets also varies (some need to be taken for a month after returning, for others it is just a week). Anti-malaria tablets can potentially cause side-effects such as nightmares, sensitivity to light and heartburn so if you’re travelling for a long period, it may be worth taking a short trial of anti-malarial tablets a few weeks before you’re meant to start to see if you have any side effects.

Suresh Bagga, from LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor, gives expert advice

Q: My mother has arthritis and struggles to open her pill bottles. Is there an alternative?

A: nearly all medicines are dispensed in child-resistant containers, however one option for your mother is to use a pillbox. Or your pharmacist can transfer the medication to a container with an easy-to-open lid if appropriate, at no extra charge (as long as you are certain that children will not be able to get hold of them).

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