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Lariam

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Falcital (mefloquine) is a widely used antimalarial medication that both prevents and treats malaria. It has been widely used for decades by both military forces and civilians.

Falcital comes in tablets, which should always be taken with food and fluids. If desired tablets can be crushed and mixed in foods or beverages, provided these are consumed right away.

This medication is suitable for all ages. Young and elderly patients are at greater risk of getting malaria, though ideally these patients will be seen by a doctor before starting treatment with Falcital.

Though most common in sub-Sahara Africa, malaria is also found in Asia and South America. Travelers to any area where malaria is endemic may want to consider prevention measures such as Falcital. Other methods, such as mosquito nets and protective clothing, should also be employed even if taking a preventive medication.

Preventing Malaria

It is far easier to prevent malaria than cure it; it is a very serious illness that can cause permanent disability and death, even if treated aggressively.

In preventive applications Falcital should taken once per week, starting three weeks prior to entering the malaria zone, continuing for the stay, and for four weeks after leaving the malaria zone.

In other words:

  • Adults weighing over 45 kg (99 lbs) should take 250 mg of mefloquine in each dose.
  • One dose should be taken once per week, starting three weeks prior to entering a malaria zone.
  • Continue taking one dose per week for the duration of the stay in a malaria zone.
  • Continue taking one dose per week for 4 weeks after leaving a malaria zone.

Young patients and those who are significantly over- or underweight may need modified dosing; consult a doctor before starting treatment.

It is important not to miss a dose, though it can be difficult to remember with once-per-week dosing. It is also important that the full dose be taken; lower doses may not be effective.

Treating Malaria

Once acquired, malaria causes a range of unpleasant symptoms; vomiting, delirium, convulsions and chills are all common. Untreated it can lead to organ damage and death.

A patient who becomes ill in a malaria zone should seek medical attention right away. If malaria is diagnosed, Falcital may be given in mild to moderate cases. If the illness progresses, the patient will most likely be hospitalized.

In most cases treatment involves:

  • 1250 mg (five 250 mg tablets) are taken once in a single dose.
  • Nausea is a common side effect; if vomiting occurs within 30 minutes of administration, the full dose should be re-taken.
  • If vomiting occurs 30 to 60 minutes after administration, a half-dose (625 mg or 2.5 tablets) should be taken.

Many patients notice improvements within 24 hours; it may take 48 to 72 hours for improvements to be significant. If there are no significant improvements after 72 hours alternative treatments should be considered.

Potential Complications

The majority of patients do not have any side effects from Falcital, but a small percentage may experience:

  • Psychiatric symptoms - though rare, some patients experience anxiety, severe depression, hallucinations and unpredictable behavior while taking Falcital.
  • Vertigo - severe or persistent vertigo can significantly impair a patient's ability to function.
  • Abnormal heart rhythms - though rarely serious if taking only Falcital, effects may be exacerbated if taken with other medications which produce similar symptoms.

Given the potential for the above, patients with a history mental disorders, disorders which produce vertigo, or heart problems may want to consider other options; there are many out there.

Multiple antimalarial medications should never be taken together without explicit physician instruction. Doing so may result in convulsions and a potentially fatal heart condition.

Falcital is safe for use in the second and third trimester of pregnancy, but should be avoided in the first trimester or if breastfeeding.

Falcital 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.

Lariam/Falcital

250mg mefloquine  Buy Lariam 6 Tablets - $35.00
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Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.

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Falcital / mefloquine
250mg - 6 Tablets $35.00 USD

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