mefloquine sucks

I took my last malaria pill today. (The doc said I needed to take them for four weeks after returning from the malarial region — in my case, Zambia.)
So I can finally say: Good riddance!
I was taking mefloquine (brand name Larium), which is the same stuff I took when I went to rural China in 1999. It didn’t bother me then, but this time I really saw what they mean about it causing “neuropsychiatric adverse events.” According to one study (Overbosch et al., 2001), 42 percent of people studied reported “adverse events” after taking mefloquine. Those were “neuropsychiatric adverse events” for 29 percent of patients, and 19 percent rated those NAEs as either moderate or severe.
In other words, mefloquine makes you crazy.
It certainly messed with my head. I took the pill once a week, on Wednesdays. Every Thursday I was slightly insane: depressed, angry, bitter, snippy, and on a hair trigger. You didn’t want to meet me on a Thursday. I could never sleep on a Thursday night. Then every Friday I was fine again — for another week.
The effects lessened as the pill-popping went on, so don’t be afraid to talk to me tomorrow — I won’t bite! But still, it’s good to get all that evil out of my system.

One thought on “mefloquine sucks”

  1. When I went to Asia one year ago, I was warned by a friend of mine who had the same problems you had with Mefloquine/Lariam.
    Moreover, my physician was aware of this problems, so he gave me Malarone. It’s more expensive, but the treatment stops very soon after you’re back home, and I experienced no “adverse events”.
    Thanks for the article, i’m glad to have it.

Comments are closed.