) is a widely used antimalarial medication, similar to quinine.
Invented by the U.S. Army in the 1970s, it continues to be used by military personnel in areas where exposure to malaria is likely. It is effective as both a preventative measure and as a treatment.
Malaria is a serious illness caused by a parasite transmitted to humans through mosquito bites. The vast majority of malaria infections occur in sub-Saharan Africa, but it's also present in Southern Asia and South America.
Very young children and the elderly are more susceptible to malaria infection than healthy adults.
Lariam has long been available to the public and is popularly used among both tourists planning to visit areas where malaria is present as well as medical professionals treating malaria infections.Malaria Prevention
Malaria can cause serious illness and death, even with treatment. It's far easier to prevent malaria than it is to treat an existing infection. In addition to preventative medications like Lariam, further precautionary measures should also be taken, such as use of mosquito repellent, protective clothing and mosquito netting.
For preventative purposes Lariam is taken once a week. Treatment should begin one to three weeks before traveling to an area where malaria is present, continue for the duration of the stay, and for four weeks after leaving the area.
This medication should always be taken with food and fluids. It may be crushed and mixed with food or liquids.
For maximum effectiveness, it's very important to not miss a dose or take less than prescribed.
Lariam is also suitable for malaria prevention in children. Speak with a physician about the proper dosage amount for each individual child.Malaria Treatment
Symptoms of malaria include high fever, vomiting, delirium, convulsions and chills. A physician should be seen immediately if sickness occurs while in an area where malaria is common.
When given as treatment, 5 Lariam tablets are taken at a time. Duration will depend on patient response and other treatments being administered. Patients who become dangerously ill are typically hospitalized and given treatment intravenously.
Tablets should be taken with food and fluids. Sick patients will often vomit after taking the tablets; if this happens within 30 minutes of taking the medication, a full dose should be taken again; between 30 minutes to an hour, a half dose should be taken.Ingredients:
Active ingredient: mefloquine
Inactive ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose, ammonium-calcium alginate, poloxamer #331, magnesium stearate, crospovidone, talc, corn starch, lactoseWarnings and Adverse Effects:
Lariam has seen very widespread use since its invention 40 years ago. The majority of users have no side effects at all. However, a small percentage of patients do experience adverse effects:
- Psychiatric symptoms - though rare, some patients experience anxiety, severe depression, hallucinations and unpredictable behavior while taking Lariam.
- Vertigo - severe or persistent vertigo can significantly impair a patient's ability to function.
- Abnormal heart rhythms - though not serious if taking only Lariam, effects may be exacerbated if taken with other medications which produce similar symptoms.
Patients with hypersensitivity to Lariam may find a more suitable alternative in Doxycycline
.Multiple antimalarial medications should never be taken together without explicit physician instruction. Doing so may result in convulsions and a potentially fatal heart condition.
Lariam does interact with certain other prescription medications. It's important to discuss all medications being taken with a physician prior to use, to both prevent adverse reactions and to ensure maximum effectiveness.
Pregnant women may safely use Lariam during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. There is a small risk of birth defects if used during the first trimester. Small amounts are secreted in breast milk. Because the effects on nursing infants is unknown, most physicians advise against use during breast feeding.