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Brand & Generic Names


Basic Information

  • Habit forming? No
  • Prescription needed? Yes
  • Available as generic? No
  • Drug class: Antiprotozoal, antimalarial


  • Treats malaria caused by plasmodium falciparum (either chloroquine-sensitive or chloroquine-resistant).
  • Treats malaria caused by plasmodium vivax.
  • Helps prevent malaria in people traveling into areas where malaria is prevalent.

Dosage & Usage Information

How to take:
Tablet--Swallow with food, milk or 8 oz. of water to lessen stomach irritation.

When to take:
Treatment--Usually given as 5 tablets in a single dose. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Prevention--Start one week prior to traveling to an area where malaria is endemic. Continue during travel and for 4 weeks after return.

If you forget a dose:
Take as soon as you remember, then return to regular dosing schedule.

What drug does:
Exact mechanism unknown. Kills parasite in one of its developmental stages.

Time lapse before drug works:
7 to 24 hours.

Don't take with:
Sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine combination (Fansidar).
Any other medicines (including over-the-counter drugs such as cough and cold medicines, laxatives, antacids, diet pills, caffeine, nose drops or vitamins) without consulting your doctor.
See Interaction Section and consult doctor.


Seizures, heart rhythm disturbances.


  • Dial 911 (emergency) or O (operator) for an ambulance or medical help. Then give first aid immediately.
  • Induce vomiting and see a doctor immediately because of the potential cardiotoxic effect. Treat vomiting or diarrhea with standard fluid therapy.
  • See EMERGENCY Information.

Possible Adverse Reactions or Side Effects


    Seizures. Seek emergency treatment immediately.


    Dizziness, headache, insomnia, lightheadedness, abdominal pain, diarrhea, appetite loss, nausea or vomiting, visual disturbances.


    None expected.


    Slow heart rate, confusion, anxiety, depression, hallucinations, psychosis.

Warnings & Precautions

Don't take if:
You are allergic to mefloquine, quinine, quinidine or related medications.

Before you start, consult your doctor:

  • If you plan to become pregnant within the medication period or 2 months after.
  • If you have heart trouble, especially heart block.
  • If you have depression or other emotional problems.
  • If you are giving this to a child under 40 pounds of body weight.
  • If you have epilepsy or a seizure disorder.

Over age 60:
Adverse reactions and side effects may be more frequent and severe than in younger persons.

Not recommended. If traveling to an area where malaria is endemic, consult your doctor about prophylaxis.

Mefloquine passes into mother's milk. Avoid drug or discontinue nursing.

Infants & children:
Not recommended for children under 2.

Prolonged use:
Not recommended.

Skin & sunlight:
No problems expected.

Driving, piloting or hazardous work:
Don't drive or pilot aircraft until you learn how medicine affects you. Don't work around dangerous machinery. Don't climb ladders or work in high places. Danger increases if you drink alcohol or take medicine affecting alertness and reflexes.

Don't discontinue without doctor's advice until you complete the prescribed dosage.


  • Periodic physical and blood examinations recommended.
  • Resistance to mefloquine by some strains of malaria have been reported, so prevention and treatment of malaria may not be uniformly effective.

Possible Interaction with Other Drugs

------------------------ -----------------------
Antiseizure medications Possible lowered seizure control.
Beta-blockers* Heartbeat irregularities or cardiac
arrest. Avoid.
Calcium channel blockers* Heartbeat irregularities.
Chloroquine Increased chance of seizures. Avoid.
Divalproex Increased risk of seizures.
Propranolol Heartbeat irregularities.
Quinidine Increased chance of seizures and
heart rhythm disturbances.
Quinine Increased chance of seizures and
heart rhythm disturbances.
Typhoid vaccine Concurrent use may decrease
(oral) effectiveness of vaccine.
Valproic acid Decreased valproic acid effect.

Possible Interaction with Other Substances

--------------- ---------------
Alcohol: Possible liver toxicity. Avoid.
Any alcoholic beverage. Possible liver toxicity. Avoid.
Cocaine: No problems expected.
Foods: No problems expected.
Marijuana: No problems expected.
Tobacco: No problems expected.

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