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What is this medication?


Mefloquine should not be prescribed for prophylaxis in patients with major psychiatric disorders. During prophylactic use, if psychiatric or neurologic symptoms occur, the drug should be discontinued and an alternative medication should be substituted.  Neuropsychiatric adverse reactions can persist after mefloquine has been discontinued.

How does this medication work? 

The mechanism of action of mefloquine is not fully understood.  Mefloquine that becomes membrane-bound inhibits merozoite invasion and interacts with proteins involved with parasite membrane lipid trafficking and nutrient uptake. Mefloquine also binds to haem, forming a complex that may also be toxic to the parasites P. falciparum and P. vivaxons.

How should I take this medication? 

Oral: Take 250 mg weekly starting ≥2 weeks before arrival in endemic area, continuing weekly during travel and for 4 weeks after leaving endemic area.

Oral: Take 750 mg as initial dose, followed 6 to 12 hours later by 500 mg.

How to Take: Administer with food and with at least 240 mL of water. When used for malaria prophylaxis, dose should be taken once weekly on the same day each week. If vomiting occurs within 30 minutes after the dose, an additional full dose should be given; if it occurs within 30 to 60 minutes after dose, an additional half-dose should be given. Tablets may be crushed and suspended in a small amount of water, milk, or another beverage for persons unable to swallow tablets.

What should I watch for while using this medication? 

Before using a Mefloquine, make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, pre-existing medical conditions and activities you perform. Mefloquine has been reported to cause agranulocytosis and aplastic anemia, altered cardiac conduction including bradycardia, sinus arrhythmia, first-degree AV block, QT-interval prolongation, and abnormal T waves. Use caution or avoid concomitant use of agents known to cause QT-interval prolongation.  Mefloquine may cause neuropsychiatric adverse effects even after being discontinued.  Mefloquine should be used with caution in patients with cardiovascular disease, hepatic impairment, ocular effects (including optic neuropathy and retinal disorders), and history of seizures.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible.  However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose.  Do not take double or extra doses.

How should I store this medication?

Keep out of the reach of children at all times.  Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C).  Protect from light.  Keep the container tightly closed.  Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.

What are the possible side effects of using this medication?

Abnormal dreams, insomnia, vomiting.

Note this is not a complete list of side effects for Mefloquine, only common ones.