Malaria Home > Lariam and Breastfeeding

Some studies have shown that Lariam (mefloquine) does pass through breast milk. However, it is believed that the amount that passes through the breast milk is probably too small to cause problems. Because no studies have been done on the possible effects this drug may cause in a breastfed infant, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider about taking Lariam while breastfeeding.

Is Lariam Safe While Breastfeeding?

Lariam® (mefloquine hydrochloride) is a medication used to treat malaria. It is also approved to prevent malaria infections from occurring in the first place in people traveling to areas where malaria is present.
Studies have shown that Lariam passes through breast milk in small amounts. However, the effects on a breastfed infant are unknown. If you are nursing a child, talk with your healthcare provider before taking this medication.

More Information on Breastfeeding and Lariam

In one study, Lariam was given to two women following childbirth and the amount of Lariam in their breast milk was recorded. Based on this study, it is estimated that a breastfed infant would receive about 4 percent of the mother's Lariam dose, an amount that is likely too small to cause problems. However, this amount may be higher in breastfeeding women who take Lariam every week for an extended period of time, as happens when the medication is used to prevent malaria.
No studies have looked at the effects of Lariam on a breastfed infant. Lariam is approved for use in children as young as six months of age. The amount of Lariam passed through breast milk is likely to be less than the amount of a regular children's dosage. Therefore, a breastfed infant would not receive enough Lariam from breast milk to prevent or treat a malaria infection.
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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