Before you travel, you should always research the most common diseases in the area to prepare yourself. When travelling to a malaria-risk location, you should know about effective malaria prevention and cure, like Lariam.
What are Lariam Malaria Tablets?
Lariam contains mefloquine as its active ingredient; it is an antimalarial medicine. It means that it is used as a treatment against malaria. This medicine is taken before and after potential exposure to the disease.
Malaria is a disease transmitted through Anopheles mosquito bites. It is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium parasite, which brings symptoms like fever and flu-like illness, chills, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness. When you travel to Africa, South America, and Southern Asia, you have to be wary of malaria infection and take proper precautions before your trip.
What does Lariam do?
The active ingredient in Lariam works by inhibiting the growth of the malaria-causing parasites in the red blood cells. When this process is completed, the parasites are then eliminated from the body.
However, it does not eliminate the parasites once the disease has entered the liver phase. Lariam is not recommended for severe malaria infections; it is most suitable for mild or moderate malaria.
Why use Lariam as malaria treatment?
Although this medication is only recommended for mild or moderate malaria cases, it still effectively prevents potential infections and stops the growth and multiplication of the parasites in the body.
How to take Lariam Tablets?
Lariam is a prescription medicine, which means you should take it exactly as prescribed by your doctor to gain optimum benefits. It will also help you if you read the enclosed patient information leaflet in the pack.
Lariam comes in an oral tablet form, which should be taken preferably after a meal. You should swallow the tablet whole; do not suck or chew as it has a bitter taste. You can also take it with milk to avoid stomach upset. If you have trouble swallowing tablets, you can crush Lariam and mix it with a small amount of condensed milk; drink the mixture immediate and do not store for later.
Two major factors affect how this medication should be taken: age and purpose. Your Lariam dosage will depend on your age and whether it’s for malaria prevention or treatment. On the other hand, children’s dosage of this medicine will be based on their body weight. If the child vomits after taking the tablet, confirm with your doctor if there is still a need to administer another dose.
Further, it is recommended to take Lariam ten (10) days before you leave for your trip; the second dose should be taken three (3) days before you leave. It is also recommended to continue taking the tablets during your stay and until four (4) weeks after you leave the malaria-risk location. Always follow the instructions as provided by your doctor until you complete the recommended treatment course.
Do not skip any dose and take each dose on the right schedule. If you were instructed to take the tablet once every week, you should take the tablets on the same day each week until the end of your treatment. If you can’t finish your treatment course, contact your doctor right away.
Although this medication is used to prevent a malaria infection, it does not guarantee that you are 1005 safe from getting the infection. If you start to show signs of malaria infection, including, fever and flu-like symptoms, inform your doctor right away.
As mentioned, the dosage of Lariam malaria tablets is affected by your age and purpose, and weight for children.
Adults and children weighing 45 kg and above should take one tablet each week, on the same day per week. A full treatment course runs for at least six (6) weeks, depending on the length of your stay. Adults and children weighing less than 45 kg should follow the corresponding children’s dosage.
Children’s dosage will depend on their weight. The recommended dosage in connection to the age is as follows:
- 5–19 kg — 3 months–5 years — ¼ tablet
- 20–30 kg — 6–8 years — ½ tablet
- 31–45 kg — 9–14 years — ¾ tablet
The dose should be taken once a week on the same day until the completion of the treatment course.
Your doctor will determine and advise how much Lariam you should take as a treatment for malaria infection. Normally, you should not exceed a total of six (6) tablets during the whole treatment course. Also, you may be asked to split the dose into two (2) to three (3) with six- to eight-hour intervals.