What is Mefloquine?
Mefloquine is a medication used in travel medicine for the prevention and treatment of malaria. It belongs to a class of drugs known as antimalarials. Commonly prescribed for the prevention or treatment of malaria.
Mefloquine is particularly useful in areas where malaria strains are resistant to other antimalarial drugs such as chloroquine. It is commonly prescribed for travelers going to regions with chloroquine-resistant malaria, including parts of Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and South America.
It’s always advisable to consult with a travel medicine specialist who can assess your specific travel plans and provide personalized recommendations regarding malaria prevention and medication options.
Travelers from non-endemic regions, such as areas without malaria transmission, are particularly susceptible to malaria infection when they visit regions where the disease is prevalent. They often lack natural immunity and are at a higher risk of severe complications if infected.
The risk of contracting malaria depends on various factors, including the destination, time of year, duration of stay, and activities undertaken. Travelers to rural or forested areas with inadequate healthcare facilities are generally at higher risk. Nighttime activities, such as outdoor camping or hiking, increase the likelihood of mosquito bites. Certain species of mosquitoes that transmit malaria are more active during specific times of the day, with peak biting periods being around dusk and dawn.
Is Mefloquine Safe?
Mefloquine is not typically considered the first-line treatment for malaria. It is primarily used as a prophylactic (preventive) medication to reduce the risk of contracting malaria in individuals traveling to areas where the disease is prevalent.
It’s worth noting that mefloquine may cause side effects in some individuals, ranging from mild to severe. Common side effects include nausea, dizziness, headache, vivid dreams, and sleep disturbances. In rare cases, more serious neurological and psychiatric side effects have been reported. Before taking mefloquine, it is important to discuss your medical history and any current medications with a healthcare professional to determine if it is an appropriate choice for you.
Please note that use of antimalarial medications for treatment should not be confused with their use for prophylaxis (prevention). Different medications and dosing regimens are used for malaria prevention compared to treatment.
Connect with your Rockdoc Travel Medicine Professional here to book a consultation to discuss your trip and obtain the prescription and vaccinations to travel with peace of mind.
We have made every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the provided information, however, it is not feasible for us to update daily. Please book a virtual consultation with one of our Travel Medicine Professionals for current, personalized advice and answers to any questions you may have.
Malaria is a potentially life-threatening disease caused by the Plasmodium parasite. It is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Malaria is prevalent in many tropical and subtropical regions of the world, including parts of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Central and South America, and Oceania.
Prevention of Malaria
Preventing malaria is crucial for travelers visiting endemic areas. Key preventive measures include:
- Use insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or other approved ingredients
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks to cover exposed skin
- Sleep in air-conditioned rooms or use bed nets treated with insecticides
- Speak with a Rockdoc Travel Medicine Professional before your trip to obtain appropriate antimalarial medication
- Take the medication as prescribed, starting before travel, during your stay, and after leaving the malaria-endemic area, as directed by your healthcare provider
- Promptly seek medical attention if you develop symptoms of malaria, even after taking preventive medication
Available travel vaccinations and medications
We offer the following travel vaccinations and medications:
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