How to use Mefloquine HCL
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking mefloquine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Carry the information wallet card with you at all times.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor. Take it with food or milk to prevent stomach upset. Do not take the medication on an empty stomach. Take each dose of this medication with a full glass (8 ounces or 240 milliliters) of water. If you have trouble swallowing the medication, the tablet may be crushed and placed in a small amount of water, milk, or other beverage.
For children, the dosage is based on their weight. Early vomiting may occur in children after taking mefloquine. If vomiting occurs in your child after taking this medication, call the doctor right away to see if your child needs to take another dose of the medication. If vomiting continues, check with your doctor for a different medication to use in place of mefloquine.
When using this medication to prevent malaria, it is usually taken once a week. The first dose of this medication should be taken one week before travel, or as directed by your doctor.
Take this medication as prescribed for the full course of treatment. It is important that you do not miss any doses and that you take the drug on a regularly scheduled basis. Remember to take it on the same day each week.
Upon returning from the malaria area, you should keep taking this medication for 4 more weeks. If you are unable to finish this course of mefloquine, contact your doctor.
If this medication is being used for prevention of malaria, it is important to understand that it is still possible to contract the disease. Tell your doctor right away if you develop a fever. Malaria is best treated if therapy is started early.
See also Warning section.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, loss of coordination, numbness/tingling/pain of hands or feet, vision changes, unusual tiredness, dark urine, yellowing skin/eyes.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Mefloquine may cause mental/mood or nervous system problems. Tell your doctor right away if you have any of these serious side effects, including: mental/mood changes (such as anxiety, depression, restlessness, confusion, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts/attempts), ringing in the ears, dizziness, lightheadedness, loss of balance, or trouble sleeping. These side effects may continue to occur even after stopping mefloquine and certain side effects (such as dizziness, ringing in the ears, loss of balance) may become permanent. This medication should not be used to prevent malaria in people who have mental/mood disorders (such as depression, schizophrenia).
Before taking mefloquine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to quinine or quinidine; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: mental/mood disorders (such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia), seizures, heart problems, liver disorder.
This drug may make you dizzy or lose your balance. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: artemether-lumefantrine, beta-blockers (such as atenolol, propranolol), chloroquine, halofantrine, ketoconazole, quinidine, quinine, drugs for seizures (such as phenytoin, valproic acid), ziprasidone.
Do not take halofantrine or ketoconazole for 15 weeks after your last dose of mefloquine.
Other medications can affect the removal of mefloquine from your body, which may affect how mefloquine works. Examples include rifamycins (such as rifabutin), azole antifungals (such as itraconazole), among others.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
It is important to wear protective clothing, insect repellent, and use bednets when trying to prevent malaria.
If you are taking this medication for a long time, lab and/or medical tests (such as eye exams, liver function) should be done while you are taking this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.