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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Lariam

Generic Name: mefloquine (Pronunciation: MEF loe kwin)

What is mefloquine (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.

Lariam 250 mg

round, white, imprinted with LARIAM 250 ROCHE

Mefloquine 250 mg-BAR

oval, white, imprinted with b 171

Mefloquine 250 mg-ROX

round, white, imprinted with 54 111

What are the possible side effects of mefloquine (Lariam)?

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;
  • fever;
  • cough, wheezing, feeling short of breath;
  • nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • mouth sores;
  • 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. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about mefloquine (Lariam)?

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 should not use this medication to prevent malaria if you have a recent history of seizures, depression, anxiety, or a psychiatric illness such as schizophrenia. However, your doctor may prescribe mefloquine to treat malaria even if you do have any of these conditions.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease, severe complications from infection with malaria, or uncontrolled vomiting or diarrhea.

If you vomit within 1 hour after taking this medication, take another dose. If your vomiting continues, call your doctor.

If you are taking this medicine to prevent malaria, start taking it 1 week before entering an area where malaria is common. Take the medication once per week during your stay and for at least 4 weeks after you leave. If you stop taking the medicine early for any reason, contact a healthcare professional about another form of malaria prevention.

If you are taking this medicine to treat malaria, the usual dose is 5 tablets at one time as a single dose.

Take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated.

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.

Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you have been exposed to malaria, or if you have a 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.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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