Lariam

DRUG DESCRIPTION

Lariam (mefloquine hydrochloride) is an antimalarial agent available as 250-mg tablets of mefloquine hydrochloride (equivalent to 228.0 mg of the free base) for oral administration.

Mefloquine hydrochloride is a 4-quinolinemethanol derivative with the specific chemical name of (R*, S*)-(±)-?-2-piperidinyl-2,8-bis (trifluoromethyl)-4-quinolinemethanol hydrochloride. It is a 2-aryl substituted chemical structural analog of quinine. The drug is a white to almost white crystalline compound, slightly soluble in water.

Mefloquine hydrochloride has a calculated molecular weight of 414.78 and the following structural formula:

LARIAM® (mefloquine hydrochloride) Structural Formula Illustration

The inactive ingredients are ammonium-calcium alginate, corn starch, crospovidone, lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, poloxamer #331, and talc.

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,...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Lariam »

What are the precautions when taking mefloquine (Lariam)?

Before taking mefloquine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to quinine or quinidine; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This medication should not be used if you have the following medical conditions: active or recent depression, anxiety disorder, psychiatric disorders, seizure disorders.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: heart problems, liver problems.

This medication may cause dizziness or loss of balance. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities...

Read All Potential Precautions of Lariam »


Lariam Consumer (continued)

SIDE EFFECTS: This medication may cause stomach upset, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, hair loss, ringing in the ears, dizziness, "feeling of spinning", loss of balance, 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.

Dizziness and loss of balance may rarely occur after stopping mefloquine. Tell your doctor if these side effects persist.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

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 (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

PRECAUTIONS: Before taking mefloquine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to quinine or quinidine; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This medication should not be used if you have the following medical conditions: active or recent depression, anxiety disorder, psychiatric disorders, seizure disorders.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: heart problems, liver problems.

This medication may cause dizziness or loss of balance. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.

Use with caution in children.

This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

This drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.


Lariam Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Lariam

Generic Name: mefloquine (Pronunciation: MEF loe kwin)

  • What is mefloquine (Lariam)?
  • What are the possible side effects of mefloquine (Lariam)?
  • What is the most important information I should know about mefloquine (Lariam)?
  • What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking mefloquine (Lariam)?
  • How should I take mefloquine (Lariam)?
  • What happens if I miss a dose (Lariam)?
  • What happens if I overdose (Lariam)?
  • What should I avoid while taking mefloquine (Lariam)?
  • What other drugs will affect mefloquine (Lariam)?
  • Where can I get more information?

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.

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:

  • cough;
  • headache;
  • weakness;
  • dizziness; or
  • itching.

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.

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