This medication is used to treat and prevent malaria.
Obtain a Medication Guide that must be provided by your pharmacist. Read the Medication Guide before you first start taking lariam and each time you obtain a refill. If you have any questions, regarding the information, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Carry the information wallet card with you at all times. Take by mouth, usually once a week, with food or milk to prevent stomach upset; or as directed by your doctor. Also take with a full glass (8 oz. or 240 ml) of water. Do not take this on an empty stomach. For children who cannot swallow the tablets whole, lariam may be crushed and placed in a small amount of water, milk or sugar water. It should be given with food and should not be taken on an empty stomach. The doctor will tell you the correct dose to use for your child. The dose is based on your child's weight. For children, early vomiting may occur after taking lariam. If vomiting occurs in your child within 30 minutes of taking the drug, give another full dose. If vomiting occurs 30 minutes to 1 hour after a dose, give a half-dose. If vomiting continues, check with your doctor for a different medication to use in place of lariam. When using to prevent malaria, the first dose of this medication should be taken one week before travel, or as directed by your doctor. Take this medication as prescribed for full course of treatment. It is important you not miss any doses and that you take the drug on a regularly scheduled basis. Remember to take it on the same day each week. Upon returning from a malaria area, you should keep taking this medication for 4 more weeks. If you are unable to finish this course of mefloquine, contact your doctor. If this medication is being used for prevention of malaria, it is important to understand that it is still possible to contract the disease. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop a fever. Malaria is best treated if therapy is started early.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Mefloquine is an orally administered antimalarial drug, used as a prophylaxis against and treatment for malaria. It also goes by the trade name Lariam (manufactured by Roche Pharmaceuticals) and chemical name mefloquine hydrochloride (formulated with HCl).
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from sunlight and moisture. Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Possible Side Effects
This medication may cause stomach upset, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, hair loss, ringing in the ears, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, insomnia, strange dreams, or lightheadedness. These effects should subside as your body adjusts to the medication. If these symptoms persist or become severe, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat, seizures, muscle pain, loss of coordination, numbness and tingling of hands or feet, vision changes. If any of the following highly unlikely, but serious side effects occur; call your doctor immediately; you may need to stop using mefloquine and start another medication for malaria prevention: unexplained anxiety, mood changes, depression (sometimes severe, including rare thoughts of suicide), hallucinations, restlessness, confusion. A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Important to wear protective clothing, insect repellent, and use bednets when trying to prevent malaria. Periodic eye examinations and laboratory tests (e.g., liver function tests) should be performed to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.