Larium/Mefloquine -- yes or no?

Oct 23rd, 1999, 02:24 PM
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Larium/Mefloquine -- yes or no?

We've been advised to take a course of Larium to prevent malaria for a 2 1/2 week stay in Delhi and Bombay in November. I've heard there are some unpleasant side effects and that the jury is out on whether we should take it. What are the side effects, what's your experience of them, and what's your opinion -- take the Larium or take the chance? Thanks for your honest opinions.
Nov 1st, 1999, 05:58 AM
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I took Larium when I went to Tanzania this past June. I did notice any side effects while there. However, upon my return to the States, I notice some nausea and light headedness for the week that I needed to complete taking the pills. After I stopped taking the pills I was fine. I would say that I pretty minor problems with the medication but obviously, body response differ from one person to the other.
Nov 1st, 1999, 06:01 AM
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I missed a word in my previous response. I did Not notice any side effects during the two week period I was there.
Nov 4th, 1999, 02:32 AM
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It seems that medical recommendations differ from one country to another. My parents-in-law went for an extensive trip (two weeks) to India and Nepal last April and were advised to take malaria pills, not Lariam but the usual Nivaquine/Paludrine stuff. On top of that, major towns in Asia are generally (I say "generally") malaria-free.
There are some web sites giving recommendations about the subject like or the WHO web site ( Maybe you can check what they say about India.
The side effects of Lariam seem to be quite common, as some of our friends and relatives complained about it. For some of them, it even wasted their whole trip.
Maybe another opinion from another doctor (specializing in tropical diseases) or institute could be of help to you.
Nov 4th, 1999, 10:42 AM
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The most reliable information on what you need to take (with info on side effects/options, etc) is found on the federal Centers for Disease Contol web site for travellers information:
Nov 5th, 1999, 12:01 PM
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For our trip to East-Africa we were advised to do a test with Lariam first. My husband had no single problem and he has been taking the Lariam for 8 weeks. I on the contrary felt abnormally fearful and I hallucinated. This was after I had taken Lariam during the 2 weeks testing period! My doctor advised me then to swith over to the Nivaquine/Paludrine combination which was alright for me. This combination seems to be only a little less effective since mosquitos get resistant against all kinds of medicines.
Ask your health centre.

By the way, I checked with our travel clinic in Belgium and they say that in the largest part of India and especially in and around the larger cities, the risk of malaria is very very low and taking the necessary precautions (mosquito milk) would be sufficient. Travellers who spend the night in doubtful circumstances are advised to take the Nivaquine/Paludrine combination: Nivaquine 3 pills a week; Paludrine 2 pills a day.
It is only in the eastern part of India, the Assam region, (between Bangladesh, China and Myanmar) that there is a chance for resistent malaria and there Lariam is essential.
Nov 8th, 1999, 03:15 AM
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I've been advised to take Lariam on my first trip to India. I had to take one high dose on the last day of my stay in order to prevent outbreak of the disease in case I had contracted it. Approx. two hours later I felt so miserable that I don't recall exactly how I returned home. I even had to ask strange people to carry my luggage and help me with the check-in at the airport because I was unable to care for myself. The symptoms continued for the next three weeks. I think you cannot feel worse when contracting the disease itself. I guess, you better take the chance because in places like Delhi and Bombay the risk is not very big anyway. On my later trips to India I did no Malaria prevention at all and everything went well although I was in rather remote areas sometimes.
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