How to take Lariam (mefloquine)
If you are planning to take Lariam and have not taken it before, it is recommended that you have a three-week trial of the treatment before you travel to determine whether you will experience any side effects that you cannot tolerate.
Lariam should only be taken if prescribed by a registered doctor. The usual dose of Lariam for adults is one tablet weekly, on the same day each week. The dose for children is also once a week but the amount will be smaller and will depend on the child's weight. It should be started three weeks before you travel and taken the whole time you are in the risk region, and for a further four weeks after you leave it.
Is Lariam (mefloquine) suitable for me?
Lariam should not be taken by people with severe liver disease, nor should it be taken by people with a history of psychiatric disturbances, including depression or convulsions, as it can make these things worse. Lariam should not be taken if you are pregnant or could become pregnant within three months, and effective contraception should be used for three months after taking Lariam.
What are the side effects of Lariam (mefloquine)?
Like all medicines, Lariam can bring on unwanted side effects, although not everyone will get them. Possible side effects include nausea, vomiting, dyspepsia, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, headache, dizziness and sleep disturbances. Less frequently, anorexia, bradycardia, fatigue, abnormal dreams, fever, tinnitus, and neuropsychiatric reactions (including sensory and motor neuropathies, tremor, ataxia, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, agitation, hallucinations, psychosis, and convulsions) can occur. Although rare, you may also experience suicidal ideation and very rarely pneumonitis. Circulatory disorders (including hypotension and hypertension) have also been reported, as well as chest pain, tachycardia, palpitation, cardiac conduction disorders, oedema, dyspnoea, encephalopathy, leucopenia, leucocytosis, thrombocytopenia, muscle weakness, myalgia, arthralgia, visual disturbances, vestibular disorders, rash (including Stevens-Johnson syndrome), pruritus, and alopecia.
Please consult the full list of Lariam side effects on the patient information leaflet provided with your treatment. Details of this can also be found here.