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Lariam only needs to be taken once a week to provide protection against malaria in some of the world’s most high risk areas.

Order Lariam online with us and get effective malaria protection when you travel.

Starting from £39.00
Here’s what's included in the price:
Consultation
Answer a few questions about your health so we can get to know you better.
Free 24h delivery
Your treatment delivered in secure packaging, the very next day.
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We’ll check in with you regularly to see how your treatment is going.
This page was medically reviewed by Dr Daniel Atkinson, GP Clinical Lead on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.

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What is Lariam?

Lariam tablets are used to prevent malaria, and contain the active ingredient mefloquine. They’re usually recommended to people travelling to certain locations in South America, central and sub-saharan Africa and south-east Asia that are considered high risk.

Lariam isn’t normally prescribed for travel to low or moderate-risk countries, but it could be advised if other antimalarial medicines – like Malarone or Doxycycline – aren’t suitable for you. Lariam is also recommended if you’re travelling to an area where there’s malaria that’s difficult to treat.

Lariam is taken before, during and after you travel to a high-risk area. It’s taken once a week, starting ten days before departure. You’ll then continue to take it once a week, on the same day, for the duration of your trip, and every week for another four weeks after you leave.

Like all medicines, Lariam can cause side effects. There’s a slightly higher chance of feeling side effects from Lariam compared to Malarone, so it’s usually only prescribed if Malarone isn’t suitable for you.

How does Lariam work?

In 2019 there were an estimated 229 million cases of malaria worldwide . Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by the plasmodium parasite, which is carried by mosquitoes. Malaria is passed to humans when a mosquito carrying the parasite bites and breaks the skin.

Symptoms of malaria include fever, vomiting and headaches. Symptoms usually appear between 7 to 18 days after you’re infected with malaria, but in some cases it can take up to a year for you to notice them.

Mefloquine, the active ingredient in Lariam, stops plasmodium parasites in the body from multiplying. It does this by preventing the creation of an enzyme the parasite needs in order to spread throughout your body. Once the parasite is weakened, your immune system can kill it off.

What doses of Lariam are there?

Lariam comes in a single dosage: 250mg. It’s suitable for adults and children weighing over 45kg.

One tablet is taken per week, starting ten days before you depart for a high risk area. Then one tablet is taken for each week that you’re in the high risk area. After you’ve left the high-risk area, you’ll take a tablet a week for a further four weeks. In certain cases, such as if you’re taking other medication, you might want to start taking Lariam two to three weeks before you travel. This will be to make sure that the combination of the drugs doesn’t give you any unpleasant effects.

It’s possible for small children to take Lariam, but the dose will need to be altered (depending on the child’s weight).

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How to take Lariam

It’s important to take Lariam before, during and after visiting a high risk area. You should always complete the full course of Lariam that you’re prescribed to ensure that you’re protected from malaria.

You should always take Lariam as directed by our clinician. If you have any doubts or questions seek advice from the patient leaflet provided with Lariam or from your clinician.

Taking Lariam:

  • Take one tablet once a week, always on the same day.
  • Take the first tablet 10 days before you leave for a high risk area.
  • Take the second dose three days before you leave for a high risk area.
  • Continue taking one tablet once a week whilst you’re in the high risk area, always take the tablet on the same day.
  • Continue to take one tablet once a week for four weeks after you’ve left the high risk area, always take the tablet on the same day.

How long does it take Lariam to work?

If you start taking Lariam ten days before leaving for a high risk area, it should start working to help prevent malaria by the time that you leave.

It takes 6-24 hours for the active ingredient to enter your bloodstream, but by taking Lariam ten days in advance you’ll be able to deal with any side effects before you leave, and switch to another treatment if necessary. It also means that your body can get used to it before you travel.

What should I do if I make a mistake when taking Lariam?

If you miss a dose of Lariam, you should take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it’s nearly time to take your next dose you should skip the missed dose and carry on as before. You shouldn’t take a double dose of Lariam.

If you accidentally take too much Lariam, contact a clinician for guidance.

Medically reviewed by
Dr Daniel Atkinson
GP Clinical Lead
on August 02, 2022.
Meet Daniel
Daniel
This page was medically reviewed by Dr Daniel Atkinson, GP Clinical Lead on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.

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When we present you with stats, data, opinion or a consensus, we’ll tell you where this came from. And we’ll only present data as clinically reliable if it’s come from a reputable source, such as a state or government-funded health body, a peer-reviewed medical journal, or a recognised analytics or data body. Read more in our editorial policy.

FAQ: Lariam

Have something specific you want to know? Search our info below, or ask our experts a question if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

How is Lariam different to other treatments for malaria?

Answer:
Unlike other malaria tablets, Lariam is only taken once a week. Malaria tablets like Doxycycline and Malarone need to be taken every day.

Lariam, Malarone and Doxycycline all contain different active ingredients because they’re all different types of medicines.

Lariam is recommended for high risk areas because the parasite that causes malaria has little resistance to its active ingredient, mefloquine.

It’s used by the Ministry of Defence to protect military personnel deployed to high risk areas .

If you’re visiting a low risk area but can’t take Malarone or Doxycycline, Lariam could be an alternative form of protection against malaria.

Is Lariam similar to any other treatments?

Answer:
Lariam works in a similar way to other malaria tablets, but its active ingredient is different and more effective against certain strains of malaria, because malaria parasites don’t have any immunity against it.

Malarone is another common malaria treatment. It contains an active ingredient called chloroquine. Some strains of malaria have built up a resistance to chloroquine, so it’s not as effective as it used to be.

Doxycycline is another alternative to Malarone and Lariam, and it does not contain chloroquine. Doxycycline is an antibiotic, so it needs to be used properly to avoid antibiotic resistance.

Which dose of Lariam should I use?

Answer:
Lariam is only available in one dose: 250mg. Adults and children over 45kg should take one whole tablet, once a week.

Smaller children can take Lariam, but the dose needs to be adjusted depending on their weight. This is done by breaking the tablets and giving a fraction of the dose.

Children weighing 5-19kg usually take a quarter of a tablet, those between 20-30kg usually take half a tablet, and those weighing between 31-45kg take three quarters of a tablet.

Children should be supervised by an adult when taking Lariam.

How effective is Lariam?

Answer:
Lariam is a highly effective way to prevent and treat malaria.

Clinical trials show that mefloquine is almost 100% effective at providing protection against malaria. Low levels of resistance in the malaria parasites also make it a highly effective treatment for those travelling to high risk areas. Lariam is as effective as chloroquine was - before some strains of malaria built up resistance to it.

You’re more likely to experience side effects from Lariam than you are from Malarone.
One in 10,000 people find mefloquine unsuitable, which is why it’s important to take it before you travel to check that you feel okay when you’re taking it .

Adverse effects of Lariam can be felt after you stop taking it. A small number of people experience dizziness, depression and loss of balance for more than a month after they stop taking Lariam.

Do I need a prescription for Lariam?

Answer:
Lariam is only available on prescription. This is because a clinician needs to make sure that it’s suitable for the area you are travelling to. A clinician also needs to check your suitability to take it and monitor any side effects that you experience when you start taking it.

Why should I buy Lariam online with Treated?

Answer:
After talking to one of our clinicians you’ll be set on a treatment plan that works for you and your travel plans. During your consultation one of our clinicians will discuss your travel plans and medical history as well as checking that you know how to take it.

Once your treatment’s been prescribed it’ll be delivered to you so that you can start taking it before you leave.

If you’ve got any questions along the way, just get in touch with us and one of our expert clinicians will help you out.
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