Drugs A - Z

Mefloquine Hydrochloride Oral tablet

It is used to treat or prevent malaria infections.

Generic Name: mefloquine

Brand Names: Lariam

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

REMS:

FDA approved a REMS for mefloquine to ensure that the benefits of a drug outweigh the risks. However, FDA later rescinded REMS requirements. See the FDA REMS page ([Web]) or the ASHP REMS Resource Center ([Web]).

What is this medicine?

MEFLOQUINE (ME floe kwin) is used to treat or prevent malaria infections.

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
  • breast-feeding

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.

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:
  • halofantrine
  • quinidine
  • quinine

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • chloroquine
  • 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
  • propranolol
  • typhoid vaccine

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.


Last Updated: June 25, 2009
Licensed from
The Healthline Site, its content, such as text, graphics, images, search results, HealthMaps, Trust Marks, and other material contained on the Healthline Site ("Content"), its services, and any information or material posted on the Healthline Site by third parties are provided for informational purposes only. None of the foregoing is a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Healthline Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Please read the Terms of Service for more information regarding use of the Healthline Site.
Advertisement