Anti-malaria drug Lariam (Mefloquine) is an antimalarial agent used to treat or prevent malaria. Malaria is a potentially fatal disease in developing countries and can affect people of any age traveling to these countries. It is transmitted primarily by the bite of an infective female Anopheles mosquito and is caused by four species of Plasmodium protozoa: P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, P. malariae.
The malaria cycle begins with the infection of the mosquito when it bites a person with malaria. The parasite enters the feeding mosquito through the infected person's blood and develops into the next stage. When the infected mosquito bites again, the parasites are injected into the person being bitten, spreading the infection.
Once inside a human, the parasites multiply in the liver. Within an average of 2 to 4 weeks, they mature and are released into the blood. The parasites enter red blood cells (RBCs) and multiply again. Eventually, the RBCs rupture, releasing new parasites to enter new RBCs, repeating the cycle. The symptoms of malaria may be mild at first and are similar to the flu, making them difficult to diagnose. A person with malaria may experience: headache, muscle aches, diarrhea, fever, chills, vomiting, coughing, abdominal pain.
Malaria symptoms usually appear within 7 to 21 days of the mosquito bite, but may not appear until later. If symptoms appear during your trip or after you return, a physician should be contacted immediately, and told about the recent travel and return date.
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Follow the directions for using Lariam anti-malaria drug provided by your doctor.A Medication Guide will give you Lariam Information. Read more about Lariam Information. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist any questions you may have about this Lariam Information. TAKE Lariam (Mefloquine) WITH FOOD. DRINK AT LEAST 8 OUNCES of water with Lariam (Mefloquine). If the tablets cannot be swallowed whole, they may be crushed and placed in a small amount of water or sugar water. Be sure to drink all of the liquid so that you receive the entire dose. When used to prevent malaria, the first dose of this medicine should be taken at least one week before travel, or as directed by your doctor. Upon returning from travel, you should continue this medicine for 4 more weeks. If you are unable to complete the course of treatment, contact your doctor. STORE Lariam (Mefloquine) at room temperature of 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) in a tightly-closed container, away from heat, moisture, and light. Brief storage between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Continue taking this medicine for the full course of treatment. Do not skip any doses. IF YOU MISS A DOSE OF Lariam (Mefloquine) and you are taking it to prevent infection, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Lariam side effects that may go away during treatment, include stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, fever, hair loss, ringing in the ears, dizziness, drowsiness, diarrhea, headache, insomnia, strange dreams, or lightheadedness. If Lariam side or are bothersome, check with your doctor. CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY if you experience Lariam side effects like fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; seizures; muscle pain; loss of coordination; numbness and tingling of hands or feet; or vision changes. CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY if you experience Lariam side effects like unexplained anxiety, mood changes, depression that may include thoughts of hurting yourself, hallucinations, restlessness, or confusion. Lariam side effects are UNLIKELY, but seek immediate medical attention if Lariam side effects occur. Symptoms of Lariam side effects include rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing. If you notice other Lariam side effects not listed above, contact your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.