Lariam is an affordable and effective medicine for preventing malaria.
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How To Take
One tablet weekly with plenty of liquid.
Start taking the tablets at least 1 week (and preferably 2-3 weeks) before you enter the malaria area and continue until 4 weeks after you leave the area.
Side Effects of Lariam
Side effects with Lariam can be severe. It is not recommended for patients with a history of mental illness.
Lariam can cause nausea, vomiting, depression, difficulty sleeping, strange dreams, mood changes, anxiety, confusion, panic attacks or a general feeling of agitation. The side effects can last a number of weeks.
How Does Lariam Work
Lariam is used to prevent or treat certain types of malaria. Lariam works by attacking the parasites once they have entered the red blood cells. It kills the parasites and prevents them from multiplying further. It is not fully understood how mefloquine kills the parasites.
Malaria is a serious tropical disease spread by mosquitoes. If malaria is not diagnosed and treated promptly, it can be fatal.
Malaria risk areas
Malaria is found in more than 100 countries, mainly in tropical regions of the world including:
- large areas of Africa and Asia
- Central and South America
- Haiti and the Dominican Republic
- parts of the Middle East
- some Pacific islands, such as Papua New Guinea
Malaria is not a problem in the UK. More information about the risk of malaria in specific countries can be found on the Fit for Travel website.
ABCD to preventing Malaria
A - Be Aware When There is a Risk However Small
Find out if there is a malaria risk in the area you are visiting.
To check whether you need to take preventative malaria treatment for the countries you are visiting, see the Fit for Travel or theNational Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) websites.
Aspects of travel may increase the risk e.g. rural travel, rainy season or unscreened accommodation.
B - Keep Mosquito Bites to a Minimum
Use clothing to protect the skin, particularly between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes feed.
Use DEET-based insect repellent on exposed areas of skin.
Sleep under a mosquito net that is impregnated with insecticide.
Use air conditioning (if available) and plug in vapourisers to protect your room.
C - Use Antimalarials Correctly
The antimalarial tablets recommended for you will depend not only on effectiveness but also on suitability, side effects, cost and which regime suits you best.
Tablets must be taken regularly according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Delayed illnesses - the incubation period of benign (mild) malaria may be long (up to a year or more).
D - Report any Feverish Illness Promptly to a Doctor
If you experience any flu-like symptoms after returning you should seek immediate medical attention and tell the doctor about your background and recent travel history. (Particularly within 3 months of return but even up to 1 year and say you have been to a malarious area.)
You may need to take a supply of personal emergency treatment abroad with you if you are going to be remote from medical facilities since treatment should always be started promptly. Discuss this option with a Travel Advisor or other healthcare professional.
Patient Information Leaflet
Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment. Patient information can be found here.