How prevalent is malaria at the Santuario Huishtin and should I take anti-malarial medicatiion?
The Pucallpa area is not endangered by malaria mosquitoes like some other areas in the Amazon. Although malaria is uncommon in our area, the active season is during the rainy season from December/January to May/June where the risk factor does increase. However, there have been some isolated cases at other times of year, so you do need to weigh the risks personally. Please note that the strain of malaria most common around Iquitos is vivax, which is a weaker form and usually easily treated for most healthy individuals.
For those who want to take pharmaceutical anti-malarial medication, Malarone (atovaquone/proguanil) shows no contraindications when taken in conjunction with ayahuasca.
Lariam is NOT recommended due to it’s inherent potential neuropsychiatric risks, which may be increased in combination with ayahuasca. Doxycycline is also NOT recommended as a malaria preventative in conjunction with ayahuasca due to potential negative physical interactions. Please note that some antimalarial medications, such as Lariam, have been associated with neuropsychiatric effects — including anxiety, hallucinations, depression, unusual behavior, and suicidal ideation — that might be particularly problematic if you are going to drink ayahuasca.