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  • Generic Name: (mefloquine hydrochloride)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 12/2014
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Mefloquine is a medicine used to treat and prevent malaria.

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Mefloquine works by killing the parasite that causes malaria.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: By killing the parasite, mefloquine may improve your symptoms.

      When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take mefloquine exactly as your healthcare provider prescribed.

      How do I know it is working?

      You may feel an improvement in your symptoms or be protected from malaria once you begin taking mefloquine. Your healthcare provider may also order tests to check how well this medication is working.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      Mefloquine may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and other mental problems. If you experience symptoms such as severe anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, depression, feeling restless or confused, or unusual behavior, tell your healthcare provider right away.

      Prevention of Malaria

      More common side effects may include: vomiting.

      Treatment of Malaria

      More common side effects may include: dizziness, muscle pain, nausea, fever, headache, vomiting, chills, diarrhea, skin rash, abdominal (stomach area) pain, tiredness, loss of appetite, ringing in your ears.

      Less common side effects of mefloquine may include:

      Changes in the electrical activity of your heart, with symptoms such as abnormal heartbeat, dizziness, or fainting, especially if taken with certain other medicines.

      Problems with your nervous system, with symptoms such as dizziness, vertigo (a spinning feeling), loss of balance, ringing in the ears, seizures, or trouble sleeping.

      Liver problems, with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, tiredness, stomach pain, fever, weakness, itching, light-colored stools, dark-colored urine, or yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

      Allergic reactions, with symptoms such as rash; itching; or swelling of your face, lips, or tongue.

      Mefloquine may also cause anemia (low red blood cell counts) or agranulocytosis (a blood disorder in which white blood cells are not made in adequate numbers or not made at all).

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not take mefloquine if you are allergic to it, any of its ingredients, or to similar medicines (such as quinine or quinidine).

      Do not take mefloquine to prevent malaria if you have or have had seizures or mental problems (such as depression, anxiety disorder, psychosis, or schizophrenia).

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with mefloquine. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have heart or liver problems, seizures, mental problems, diabetes, blood clotting problems, if you are scheduled to receive a vaccine, or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Treatment of Malaria

      Adults: The usual dose is 5 tablets as a single dose.

      Children >6 months: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child, based on his/her weight.

      Prevention of Malaria

      Adults: The usual dose is 1 tablet once a week.

      Children: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child, based on his/her weight.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Take mefloquine exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking mefloquine without first talking to your healthcare provider.

      Take mefloquine after your largest meal with at least 1 cup (8 ounces) of water.

      If you are taking mefloquine to prevent malaria, start taking it 1 to 3 weeks before exposure and continue for 4 weeks after your return, as directed by your healthcare provider.

      Mefloquine tablets may be crushed and mixed with a small amount of water, milk, or other beverage if you are unable to swallow the tablets whole.

      Use effective forms of birth control while you are taking mefloquine and for at least 3 months after the last dose if directed to do so by your healthcare provider. Talk to your healthcare provider about effective forms of birth control.

      Carry the mefloquine information wallet card provided to you by your healthcare provider.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how mefloquine affects you.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      If mefloquine is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Mefloquine may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very important that you tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      The effects of mefloquine during pregnancy are unknown. Mefloquine can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      If you miss a dose of mefloquine, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store at room temperature.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
      back to top Use your PDR® Pharmacy Discount Card when you or a family member fills a prescription and ask for your PDR® Discount every
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