What is Lariam?
Mefloquine is used to help prevent developing malaria in areas of the world where there is a high risk of chloroquine-resistant falciparum malaria.
How do I take Lariam tablets?
Mefloquine should be taken 2-3 weeks before entering endemic area and continued for 4 weeks after leaving in those who weigh over 45kg. It should be taken once weekly, at the same day each week. It should be taken with or just after food or a meal with a full glass of water. Alternatively, the tablets may be crushed and mixed with food such as jam or honey just before taking.
What are the cautions associated with taking Lariam?
Although Lariam is a commonly used medication for the prevention of malaria, it is not suitable for everyone. Lariam should be used with caution or avoided in patients with certain conditions including:
- Asplenia (hoover over)
- Blood clotting disorders
- Cardiac conduction disorders
- Epilepsy or convulsions
- Traumatic brain injury
- Psychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia
- History of black water fever
- Kidney or Liver Problems
- Rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, the Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption
- Those with allergy to quinine, quinidine, chloroquine, mefloquine or any of its constituents
Lariam should not be taken during pregnancy and it is advised that adequate contraception should be carried out when taking and for 3 months after stopping Lariam.
What are the side effects of Lariam?
As with all medications there is a potential risk of side effects, however not everyone will suffer from them. It is important to note that as Lariam has a long duration of action thus side effects can occur and persist for up to several months after discontinuation of this medication.
Common side effects associated with the use of Lariam include:
- Gastro-Intestinal side effect such as nausea, vomiting, diarrheoa and abdominal pain
- Loss of balance (vertigo)
- Drowsiness and dizziness – patients should not drive or operate machinery if this occurs
- Psychiatric reactions such as anxiety, nightmares and confusion, if these symptoms occur you should stop treatment and seek urgent medical attention.
Lariam can cause other side effects and if you would like further information please see the patient information leaflet or contact PostMyMeds.
Does Lariam provide 100% protection against Malaria?
As with all malaria prophylaxis medication, protection is not absolute so it is always essential to take prophylaxis regularly, avoid mosquito bites and immediately visit your doctor if you become ill within one year and especially within 3 months of return.
Can children take Lariam?
Lariam may be used by children and adults weighing 45kg. The weekly dose of the medication will have to be calculated depending on the weight of the patient.
Where can I find more information on Malaria and Lariam?
Please refer to the patient information leaflet (PIL) for further information on Lariam. You can find more information on Malaria on the conditions category page.