Drugs A - Z
Mefloquine Hydrochloride Oral tablet
Generic Name: mefloquine
Brand Names: Lariam
What is this medicine?MEFLOQUINE (ME floe kwin) is used to treat or prevent malaria infections.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- depression or history of mental problems including anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, or psychosis
- heart disease
- liver disease
- seizures (epilepsy or convulsions)
- an unusual or allergic reaction to mefloquine, hydroxymefloquine, quinidine, quinine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?Take this medicine by mouth with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take it with food. If you are taking this medicine to prevent malaria, you should start taking it one week before entering the area, and continue for 4 weeks after leaving. Take your doses at regular intervals and on the same day of each week. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. If you are treating an acute malaria infection, you will receive a single dose of the drug. For prolonged travel in an area where malaria is common, consult your healthcare provider for proper dosing schedule.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 6 months of age for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- medicines to control heart rhythm
- medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
- medicines used to control seizures like valproic acid, carbamazepine, phenobarbital or phenytoin
- medicines used to treat hay fever, colds or allergies
- phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
- typhoid vaccine
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not start to get better in a few days. If you are taking this medicine for a long time, visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks. If you notice any changes in your vision see your eye doctor for an eye exam.
If you get a fever during or after you start taking this medicine, do not treat yourself. Contact your doctor or health care professional immediately.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.
While in areas where malaria is common, you should take steps to prevent being bit by mosquitos. This includes staying in air-conditioned or well-screened rooms to reduce human-mosquito contact, sleep under mosquito netting, preferably one with pyrethrum-containing insecticide, wear long-sleeved shirts or blouses and long trousers to protect arms and legs, apply mosquito repellents containing DEET to uncovered areas of skin, and use a pyrethrum-containing flying insect spray to kill mosquitos.
If you are currently taking or have taken this medicine in the past 3 weeks, you should not take halofantrine (another malarial drug). Dangerous heart side effects may occur. Talk to your health care provider.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- blurred vision, or change in vision
- fainting spells
- fever or chills
- headaches, confusion, or other mental changes
- hearing problems
- joint or muscle aches
- redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
- ringing in the ears
- skin rash, itching (there may be severe itching without a rash)
- unusual changes in heart rate or other heart problems
- unusually weak or tired
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- hair loss
- loss of appetite
- mild diarrhea
- stomach pain or upset
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medicine?Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
NOTE:This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.