Lariam tablets are a medication used to prevent malaria.They contain mefloquine, an ingredient which kills the malaria parasite. Lariam needs to be taken once a week to protect you from malaria.

Please note: We do not offer Lariam as it is deemed less convenient and causes more severe side effects than other malaria tablets. We offer the safer alternatives Malarone, doxycycline and chloroquine.

How is Lariam Taken

Unlike other malaria medications, Lariam is not taken daily, but weekly. You need to take the Lariam tablet on the same day every week. You should take the first dose ten days and the second three days before you leave to make sure you tolerate the active ingredient mefloquine.

You need to continue taking Lariam until four weeks after your return from a malaria area. It is important that you take the full course - stopping early increases your risk of getting malaria.

If despite having taken your mefloquine tablets, you notice any symptoms of malaria during your stay or after your return, you must seek medical attention immediately.

Lariam is not suitable for travellers with a history of mental health problems or seizures. It is not to be taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. As with other malaria medication, there still remains a small risk of infection even if you have taken your tablets correctly. Avoid insect bites and use insect repellent as well as bed nets to minimise your exposure to the parasite.

What are the Ingredients in Lariam?

The main ingredient in Lariam is mefloquine, an antimalarial substance that reduces your risk of malaria. It is not known exactly how mefloquine works, but it is effective in preventing malaria caused by the malaria parasite.

Every Lariam tablet contains 250mg mefloquine.

Mefloquine can not be taken by patients who are suffering from a mental health problem, such as depression or schizophrenia.

If you experience side effects such as depression, paranoia or hallucinations during your treatment, seek medical help immediately.

What are the Side Effects of Lariam?

Very common side effects

  • problems with sleeping such as insomnia or bad dreams

Common side effects

  • dizziness
  • headache
  • visual disturbances
  • loss of balance
  • nausea (feeling sick)
  • diarrhoea
  • stomach pain
  • itching

Due to the risk of dizziness, loss of balance and concentration, you should be cautious if you are going to be driving, operating machinery etc. whilst taking the tablets. You should not go scuba diving whilst taking Lariam.

For a full list of side effects please read the patient leaflet provided with your medication.


Lariam has caused some cases of severe neurological or psychological side-effects.

You must stop taking your treatment and seek medical help immediately if you:

  • notice any change in your mood or behaviour
  • behave in a way that is risky or harmful towards yourself or others
  • notice that you are having suicidal thoughts or attempt suicide
  • notice you are losing touch with reality (psychosis) or paranoia (unusual feelings of mistrust towards others)
  • have nightmares, anxiety, depression, restlessness, difficulty concetrating or confusion, as these may come before more serious neuropsychiatric side-effects

You should also seek urgent medical attention if you:

  • experience an allergic reaction (which may involve breathing problems, swelling of tongue and face, itching and rash)
  • notice changes in your heartbeat (for example pounding, skipped beats or racing)
  • suffer seizures
  • notice signs of a liver problem (for example jaundice, dark urine, itchy skin, light coloured stools, increase in liver enzymes shown in blood tests)
  • numbness, pins and needles
  • notice signs of an inflammation of the lung (such as fever, chills, shortness of breath, chest pain and cough)
  • experience bleeding in the stomach
  • feeling unusually shaky or clumsy
  • notice ulcers in your mouth or throat, fever, chills, bruises or nosebleeds
  • experience unusual vaginal bleeding

Does Lariam Affect Other Medications?

Mefloquine tablets such as Lariam can interact with the following medications:

  • halofantrine (which is also used to treat malaria)
  • the painkiller tramadol
  • certain types of blood pressure medication, such as beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers
  • antihistamines (taken to prevent allergic reactions)
  • other malaria medication, such as quinine, quinidine, or chloroquine
  • certain medicines used to treat epilepsy (including phenytoin, sodium valproate, carbamazepine, phenobarbital)
  • certain medications used to treat mental conditions such as tricyclic anti-depressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), bupropion, anti-psychotics and phenothiazines
  • medicines for blood clotting disorders or diabetes
  • antifungal medicines such as ketoconazole (ask your doctor for advice before taking ketoconazole within 15 weeks of your treatment with mefloquine)
  • certain antibiotics (for example, penicillins, rifampicin and cephalosporins)
  • the HIV medication efavirenz
  • the oral typhoid vaccine should be taken at least three days before starting Lariam, otherwise Lariam may stop the vaccine from working

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