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Lariam (Mefloquine) is a medication to treat malaria, a disease caused by parasites. This medicine works by interfering with the growth of parasites in the red blood cells of the human body.
Parasites that cause malaria typically enter the body through the bite of a mosquito. Malaria is common in areas such as Africa, South America, and Southern Asia.
Mefloquine is used to treat or prevent malaria.
Mefloquine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
It is important to use this medication regularly to best prevent malaria. If you stop using the medication early for any reason, talk to your doctor about other forms of malaria prevention.
If you have trouble swallowing the mefloquine tablet, you may crush the tablet and mix it into a small glass of milk, water, or other beverage to make swallowing easier.
If you vomit within 1 hour after taking this medication, take another half dose. If your vomiting continues, call your doctor.
If you are taking this medicine to prevent malaria:
Start taking the medicine 1 week before entering an area where malaria is common. Continue taking the medicine once weekly during your stay and for at least 4 weeks after you leave the area.
Take your weekly dose on the same day each week.
If you stop taking the medicine early for any reason, contact a healthcare professional about another form of malaria prevention.
If you are taking mefloquine to treat malaria:
Take five (5) tablets at one time, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
Do not take mefloquine on an empty stomach.
Take the medicine with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.
In addition to taking mefloquine, use protective clothing, insect repellents, and mosquito netting around your bed to further prevent mosquito bites that could cause malaria.
To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your liver function may need to be tested with blood tests on a regular basis. You may also need regular eye exams. Do not miss any visits to your doctor.
Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you have been exposed to malaria, or if you have fever or other symptoms of illness during or after a stay in an area where malaria is common.
No medication is 100% effective in treating or preventing malaria. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if you have fever, vomiting, or diarrhea during your treatment.
Five tablets (1250 mg) mefloquine hydrochloride to be given as a single oral dose. The drug should not be taken on an empty stomach and should be administered with at least 8 oz (240 mL) of water.
If a full-treatment course with Lariam (mefloquine) does not lead to improvement within 48 to 72 hours, Lariam (mefloquine) should not be used for retreatment. An alternative therapy should be used. Similarly, if previous prophylaxis with mefloquine has failed, Lariam (mefloquine) should not be used for curative treatment.
The recommended prophylactic dose of Lariam (mefloquine) is approximately 5 mg/kg body weight once weekly. One 250 mg Lariam (mefloquine) tablet should be taken once weekly in pediatric patients weighing over 45 kg. In pediatric patients weighing less than 45 kg, the weekly dose decreases in proportion to body weight:
30 to 45 kg: 3/4 tablet
20 to 30 kg: 1/2 tablet
Experience with Lariam (mefloquine) in pediatric patients weighing less than 20 kg is limited.
Store mefloquine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Active ingredient: Mefloquine
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to mefloquine or similar medications such as quinine (Qualaquin) or quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex, Quin-Release).
You also should not use mefloquine to prevent malaria if you have a recent history of:
schizophrenia or other psychiatric illness.
However, your doctor may prescribe mefloquine to treat malaria even if you do have any of the conditions listed above.
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication:
a history of depression;
epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
severe complications from malaria; or uncontrolled vomiting or diarrhea.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether mefloquine is harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Malaria is more likely to cause death in a pregnant woman. If you are pregnant, talk with your doctor about the risks of traveling to areas where malaria is common. Mefloquine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Mefloquine should not be used to treat malaria in a child younger than 6 months old or who weighs less than 11 pounds. Mefloquine should not be used to prevent malaria in a child who weighs less than 99 pounds.
Important safety information
Do not take halofantrine (Halfan) while you are taking mefloquine or just after you stop taking it. Serious, life-threatening side effects on your heart can occur if you take halofantrine before the mefloquine has cleared from your body.
Avoid taking chloroquine (Aralen Phosphate), quinine (Qualaquin) or quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex, Quin-Release) while you are taking mefloquine.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop taking mefloquine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
depressed mood, feeling restless or anxious;
confusion, extreme fear, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior;
severe or uncontrolled vomiting or diarrhea;
cough, wheezing, feeling short of breath;
nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
unusual aches and pains, tired feeling, weight loss;
severe skin rash; or
easy bruising or bleeding.
Less serious side effects may include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.