Author Topic: Mefloquine (Lariam®)  (Read 1753 times)

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Sylvain Chartrand CD

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Mefloquine (Lariam®)
« on: April 17, 2012, 03:39:41 AM »
Mefloquine (brand name: Lariam®) is a drug that has been given to military personnel, including those serving in Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, for protection against malaria. Malaria is an infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes. Mefloquine is also used for travelers visiting areas where malaria is found, based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Mefloquine was approved by the FDA in May 1989.

If you are concerned about mefloquine use or long-term side effects from taking mefloquine, talk to your health care provider or local VA Environmental Health Coordinator.

Mefloquine side effects
Hand holding a foil blister pack with small white pills

Most people who take mefloquine do not experience side effects. For those who do, symptoms are usually mild and do not last long because the drug quickly leaves the body after the medication is stopped. People with liver problems, or those who drink alcohol or take medications that affect the liver, may take longer to eliminate mefloquine.

Occasionally, mefloquine may cause more serious side effects. Examples include psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety, paranoia, depression, mood changes, hallucinations, agitation, and unusual behavior. Other uncommon side effects may include muscle weakness, irregular heartbeat, and lung problems such as pneumonitis (inflammation of lung tissue). Rare cases of suicidal thoughts have been reported.

If you are thinking about suicide, seek appropriate care immediately.  Contact the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1) or through online chat.*†

Health concerns?

If you are concerned about mefloquine use or long-term side effects from taking mefloquine, talk to your health care provider or local VA Environmental Health Coordinator. Veterans not enrolled in the VA health care system, find out if you qualify for VA health care.

VA benefits

Veterans may be eligible for VA disability compensation benefits and health care benefits for health problems associated with mefloquine use during military service.

More on malaria and mefloquine

    Malaria* (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
    Mefloquine* (U.S. Department of Defense Deployment Health Clinical Center)
    Mefloquine (Lariam®)* (U.S. Department of Defense Force Health Protection and Readiness)*

http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/mefloquine-lariam.asp