Roche highlights risk of neuropsychiatric reactions with Lariam

Roche has issued a letter to healthcare professionals reminding them of the risk of serious neuropsychiatric adverse reactions associated with the use of its antimalarial Lariam (mefloquine).

Lariam (mefloquine) is effective for the treatment and prophylaxis of malaria in most parts of the world
Lariam (mefloquine) is effective for the treatment and prophylaxis of malaria in most parts of the world

The most common neuropsychiatric reactions to mefloquine include abnormal dreams, insomnia, anxiety and depression. Hallucinations, psychosis and suicide/suicidal ideation have also been reported. As mefloquine has a long half life, these reactions may be delayed or persist for up to several months after discontinuing treatment.

Start 10 days before entering malarial area

Lariam should now be started 10 days (rather than seven days) before entering the endemic area, to ensure it is well tolerated. If neuropsychiatric reactions occur, Lariam should be discontinued immediately and an alternative antimalarial initiated.

Prescribers should remember that Lariam must not be used for chemoprophylaxis in patients with a psychiatric disorder or a history of such disorders.

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View Lariam drug record

Further information: Roche

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