Mefloquine may cause serious side effects that include nervous system changes. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had seizures. Your doctor may tell you not to take mefloquine. If you notice any of the following symptoms while taking this medication, call your doctor immediately: dizziness, a feeling that you or things around you are moving or spinning, ringing in the ears, and loss of balance. These symptoms may occur at any time while you are taking mefloquine and can last for months to years after the medication is stopped or can be permanent.
Mefloquine may cause serious mental health problems. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had depression, anxiety, psychosis (difficulty thinking clearly, understanding reality, and communicating and behaving appropriately), schizophrenia (an illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions) or other mental health disorders. Also tell your doctor immediately if you develop the following symptoms while taking this medication: anxiety, feelings of mistrust towards others, hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist), depression, thoughts of suicide or harming yourself, restlessness, confusion, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or unusual behavior. These symptoms may occur at any time while you are taking mefloquine and can last for months to years after the medication is stopped.
These symptoms of nervous system changes or mental health problems may be more difficult to note in young children. Watch your child carefully and contact their doctor right away if you find any changes in behavior or health.
Keep all appointments with your doctor, eye doctor, and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests and periodic eye examinations to check your body's response to mefloquine.
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer's patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with mefloquine and each time you refill your prescription. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website ( Web Site) or the manufacturer's website to obtain the Medication Guide.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking mefloquine.
Mefloquine is used to treat malaria (a serious infection that is spread by mosquitoes in certain parts of the world and can cause death) and to prevent malaria in travelers who visit areas where malaria is common. Mefloquine is in a class of medications called antimalarials. It works by killing the organisms that cause malaria.
Mefloquine comes as a tablet to take by mouth. Always take mefloquine with food (preferably your main meal) and at least 8 ounces (240 milliliters) of water. If you are taking mefloquine to prevent malaria, you will probably take it once a week (on the same day each week). You will begin treatment 1 to 3 weeks before you travel to an area where malaria is common and should continue treatment for 4 weeks after you return from the area. If you are taking mefloquine to treat malaria, your doctor will tell you exactly how often you should take it. Children may take smaller but more frequent doses of mefloquine. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take mefloquine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
The tablets may be swallowed whole or crushed and mixed with water, milk, or other beverage.
If you are taking mefloquine to treat malaria, you may vomit soon after you take the medication. If you vomit less than 30 minutes after you take mefloquine, you should take another full dose of mefloquine. If you vomit 30 to 60 minutes after you take mefloquine, you should take another half dose of mefloquine. If you vomit again after taking the extra dose, call your doctor.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before taking mefloquine,
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Mefloquine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of the following symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING or SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section, call your doctor immediately:
Mefloquine may cause other side effects. You may continue to experience side effects for some time after you take your last dose. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( Web Site) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( Web Site) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. Web Site
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at Web Site. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
¶ This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.