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If you have malaria or are traveling to an area where malaria is a risk, a healthcare provider may prescribe Lariam. This medication comes in the form of a tablet and is taken as a one-time dose (when used to treat malaria) or once weekly for several weeks (when used to prevent malaria). Possible side effects include headaches, vomiting, and diarrhea.

What Is Lariam?

Lariam® (mefloquine hydrochloride) is a prescription medication licensed to prevent or treat malaria.
(Click Lariam Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

This medication was made by F. Hoffmann-La Roche, LTD, for Roche Laboratories, Inc. However, it is no longer available. Generic Lariam is available and is manufactured by several companies.

How Does Lariam Work?

Lariam belongs to the antimalarial class of drugs. Malaria is a blood infection caused by tiny parasites called Plasmodium. This medication treats malaria by killing the Plasmodium parasites; however, it is not known how Lariam does this.

When and How to Take It

Some general considerations include the following:
  • This medication comes in tablet form. It is usually taken as a one-time dose when used to treat malaria or once weekly when used to prevent malaria.
  • Lariam should be taken after a full meal to help prevent stomach upset, and with a full glass of water (at least eight ounces).
  • If you vomit after taking Lariam, call your healthcare provider. He or she will tell you if you need to take another dose.
  • If you are using Lariam to prevent malaria, make sure to take your dose on the same day of the week to keep an even level of the medication in your bloodstream.
  • To prevent malaria, Lariam is usually taken weekly starting between one and three weeks before travel to a malaria area, during travel, and for four weeks after returning.
  • If Lariam tablets cannot be swallowed whole, they may be crushed and mixed with a small amount of water, milk, or other fluid. Because this medicine is very bitter, mixing the crushed tablet in chocolate syrup, jelly, or applesauce can make it taste better for young children.
  • If you are taking Lariam to treat malaria, you should start to feel better within two days of beginning treatment. If you do not start to feel better, your healthcare provider may need to give you a different medication.
  • It is important to use protective clothing, bed nets, and insect repellents to protect you from being bitten by mosquitoes in a malaria area. Lariam alone may not prevent a malaria infection.
  • You will be given a medication wallet card with Lariam. Make sure you carry it with you at all times while you are taking this medicine.
  • Make sure you continue to take this medication for the full treatment course, even if you start to feel better. Your infection may not be entirely gone, even though you feel better.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.

Lariam Medication Information

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