Entomology, chemical ecology, evidence-based environmentalism and science in general. I like big bugs and I cannot lie.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Messing with my mind

I’ve made an appointment to discuss immunisations and anti-malarials, and like every GP’s worst nightmare have done a bit of research before hand. Apparently my anti-malarial options are Larium or Doxycycline for going up-country in The Gambia. Larium is a lovely-sounding little pill, which has been known to cause temporary or permanent severe depression, anxiety, paranoia, aggression, nightmares, insomnia, seizures, and other central nervous system problems you probably wouldn’t want. Doxycyline on the other hand is a broad-spectrum antibiotic which has been known to cause photosensitivity in about three percent of users and so is not recommended for particularly sunny areas, rather unhelpful as malaria isn’t exactly endemic in Wolverhampton. It also interferes with hormonal contraception, which could well make El Jefe’s visit rather less exciting. However it does also offer some protection against elephantiasis, which doesn’t look like much fun.

Being rather fonder of my brain than of my skin, and given that I’ll be covering up anyway as I’ll be in a Muslim country, I’m going to try and go for Doxycycline and take the risk that I might be one of the 3% it turns into a vampire. Thanks to one of these Blogger – poll jobbies, however, I can now offer all of you the opportunity to help me make this crucial health decision. If you’re reading this on Facebook you’ll need to go to the original blog, which is here. I reserve the right to completely disregard the results. And I’m not usually a violent woman, but if anyone suggests homeopathic anti-malarials I will carefully and patiently explain the concept of evidence-based medicine to them, possibly with the aid of a cricket bat.

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