Author Topic: Mefloquine (a.k.a Lariam) anti-malarial in CF use (merged)  (Read 37775 times)

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Pugnacious

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Greetings!
Sorry for a another silly Civi question.

Is Lariam (mefloquin) still in use as an anti Malaryia drug?
I've heard bad things about it from TV reports and troops that have taken it with its nasty side effects, Paranoia  -Night terrors etc to name a few.

If they still do issue it..why?, And could a person refuse it and provide there own anti malaryia drug.

I was just wondering.

Cheers!
P.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 21:43:26 by milnews.ca »

Offline krugan

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Re: Is Lariam (mefloquin) still in use?
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2004, 09:33:59 »
I took Lariam in 2000 when I went to Zimbabwe to work and though I only bothered to take it for the first 6 weeks I didn't feel any kind of side effects, but that's just me.  My friend who I went with didn't experience any problems either.  I took 5-HTP and if you read up on the side effects of that you'll find people who talk about having increased dreams or nightmares and that is herbal medication!!

I stilll have the Consumer Information sheet Roche provides in the Lariam package and it states:

The following unwanted side effects have been reported to occur with Lariam: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, light-headedness or loss of balance, headache, sleepiness, inability to sleep, abnormal dreams, loose stools or diarrhea, and abdominal pain.  In rarer cases, loss of appetite, abnormal heartbeat, itching of the skin or skin rash, hair loss, eyesight problems, mucle pains, convulsions, and disturbances of mood (depressed mood, mental confusion, anxiety states) may occur.  Because many of these sysmptoms accompany malaria, it is often difficult to tell whether the symptons are due to malaria or are unwanted effects of 'Lariam'.   When 'Lariam' is used as malaria prevention, these events usually subside within a short period of time after drug administration.  If these adverse  events are not severe in nature and are tolerable, it is in your best interest to continue 'Lariam' since the consequences of contracting malaria are cause for greater concern.  It is best to avoid alcoloic drinks during treatment with 'Lariam'.

It also statesfor Special Precautions:

Lariam should not be used by:

1. Persons with a known sensitivity to mefloquine or related compounds. (Check with your Doctor).
2. Persons with a history of psychiatric disturbances.
3. Persons with a history of convulsions.
4. Persons suffering from severe liver or cardiac disease.
5. Woman who are or may become pregnant.
6. Nursing mothers
7. Children less then 3 yrs old.

Pugnacious

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Re: Is Lariam (mefloquin) still in use?
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2004, 11:32:36 »
So your saying Cananda still uses this drug in spite of the fact that members of our forces, and members of other militarys have have very serious psycotic side effects?   Just asking..I'd hate to join up, and then find out I'm going to be forced to take such a drug when there  are safer (yet more expensive) ones availble.

Cheers!
P.

Offline devil39

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Re: Is Lariam (mefloquin) still in use?
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2004, 12:00:36 »
So your saying Cananda still uses this drug in spite of the fact that members of our forces, and members of other militarys have have very serious psycotic side effects?     Just asking..I'd hate to join up, and then find out I'm going to be forced to take such a drug when there   are safer (yet more expensive) ones availble.

Cheers!
P.

We did use this drug as of two years ago.   I preferred Lariam to the real risk of malaria.   I do not recall any "serious psychotc side effects" (visible) in any of the hundreds of lariam users I saw every day.  

The new doses are apparently smaller than they were 10 years ago, however I am no medical expert.  

I would not be afraid of joining up.   Contrary to what some might claim the Canadian Forces really do have your best interests at heart.

Offline 2FtOnion

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Re: Is Lariam (mefloquin) still in use?
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2004, 13:35:26 »
I had taken Mefloquine, in my 2001-2002 deployment, I beleave I took Mefloquine once a week, from what the doctor had told me, was that my blood work showed that I was more subceptable to malaria that than everyone else, they took doxycycline once a day.  I did have very vivid dreams, I often yelled in my sleep example Arrgh, this chair be high says I, Get me out of the box, and often I was told I would jump out of my rack in the berthing stand at attention and give drill commands, anyway I provided quite a bit of humor to the other Marines in the berthing.   

I beleave for malaria treatment you have either doxycycline or mefloquine, depending on what the medical doctors want, but after you get out of the Malaria zone you need to take Primaquine, for about 30 days.

Every drug has a list of crazy side effects, but it is alot better than contracting malaria. 
Engineers build the world  
EE

Offline Sheep Dog AT

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Re: Is Lariam (mefloquin) still in use?
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2004, 15:02:54 »
Speaking of Malaria, there was a report in the news that 5 CDN troops came down with Malaria in Afganistan.  Others are under observation.
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Offline Gunner

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Re: Is Lariam (mefloquin) still in use?
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2004, 15:45:11 »
Lariam, or Mefloquine, is the still the prefered anti-malaria drug of choice for the CF.  However, the medical community is much more proactive (as of 1 month ago) in terms of informing deploying personnel on the benefits and risks of taking the drugs.  You now have a choice of Mefloquine, Doxycycline, or Malarone.  Anytime you use a drug there will be side effects.

I used Mefloquine in Africa and didn't have too many problems.  I am now deploying to Afghanistan in August and I was quite happy to take Mefloquine again.  In Africa, I saw too many victims (sick, very sick, dying and dead) of malaria and am more than happy to take what the CF system recommends.

CFL, the report your referred to is true:

  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPPrint/LAC/20040621/AFGHANISTAN21/TPInternational/
Had a wonderful ~26 years in the military and still miss it.

Offline Sheep Dog AT

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Re: Is Lariam (mefloquin) still in use?
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2004, 15:58:26 »
Thanks for the link.
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Offline Kirsten Luomala

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Re: Is Lariam (mefloquin) still in use?
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2004, 16:24:35 »
Yes we still use Larium.  It is region specific,eg. Afghanistan gets it but Haiti doesn't. It has do to with the strain of malaria.  I took it 02 while in Afghanstan with only sleeping problems.  I know some who had very bad dreams but that was about it for side effects.

Pugnacious

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Re: Is Lariam (mefloquin) still in use?
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2004, 16:29:17 »
Thank you for you input.  :)
Yup malaryia is pretty bad.

Cheers!
P.

Offline cheeky_monkey

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Re: Is Lariam (mefloquin) still in use?
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2004, 22:05:14 »
Quote
Consumer Information sheet Roche provides
Roche had some problems with their Acutane. Some people started killing themselves because the drug increases deppression.
Verité, Devoir, Vaillance

Pugnacious

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Re: Is Lariam (mefloquin) still in use?
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2004, 22:26:14 »
Different drug.
Also Depression is a far cry from night terrors, and paranoia.
Glad to see you have alternative drugs now.

Cheers!
P.

Offline cheeky_monkey

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Re: Is Lariam (mefloquin) still in use?
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2004, 22:34:32 »
"Different drug. Also Depression is a far cry from night terrors, and paranoia."


I'm aware of that, i was just sharing info. I was on Acutane and the doc recommended that I try to stay away from it.
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Pugnacious

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Re: Is Lariam (mefloquin) still in use?
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2004, 22:55:54 »
Yes a good point!
Way back when I was 17 i was also on it..it was new then, and yes it worked great.
My doctor didn't know anything about depression being a side effect. 
And I have to admit ..there were some 'blue times'  nothing over the top though just out of character.
I know others that had far worse cases of deppression while on that drug.

I'm sure the Army will take good care of me...I hope.  ;D
Cheers!
P.

Offline pbi

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Re: Is Lariam (mefloquin) still in use?
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2004, 23:36:41 »
Yes-I;m taking it right now in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan: no problems except a slight stomach upset. I took Mefloquin in 1993 for seven months-no problems. The fact is that both medications have been extensively tested by both Canada and the US, and are considered safe by Health Canada (notoriously tight on giving certification...) There are some side effects, but they vary from person to person and most are mild. It is true that a very, very few people may develop side effects so serious that they cannot carry out their duty, but these are on the order of 1 in 200,000 cases. And, anyway, none of them are near as bad as getting malaria itself, which is a horrible disease that in some forms (such as cerebral malaria) can kill in an extremely painful way. I'd rather take the upset gut, thanks. Cheers.

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Yard Ape

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Re: Is Lariam (mefloquin) still in use?
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2004, 02:27:32 »
Yes we still use Larium.   It is region specific,eg. Afghanistan gets it but Haiti doesn't. It has do to with the strain of malaria.  
There are even some regions that Malaria has developed a resistance to both drugs (I think around Cambodia, but I don't recall the location for certain).

Offline Rider Pride

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Re: Is Lariam (mefloquin) still in use?
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2004, 17:38:43 »
Since when is malaria spelt with a "y"?
There is no other medication that can be used as long as Larium, nor can be produced as cheaply for its all round effectiveness. Patient compliance is also effective because its only taken once a week. Doxycyciline was used during the DART mission in Honduras. It was to be taken 4x a day and caused bad nausea to some of the troops. There were 25+ cases of malaria after that tour, and one unexpected pregnancy. Not very effective as a prophalaxisis either way.
The W.H.O. has terrific sites about travel medicine and the use of antimalaria medications.

And if it's use by the CF is enough to keep Pugnacious out of the military.... ;D

I'm sure the Army will take good care of me...I hope. ;D
Cheers!
P.

I am SURE we will take care of you. :threat: :sniper:
« Last Edit: August 13, 2004, 17:48:59 by Armymedic »
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Re: Is Lariam (mefloquin) still in use?
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2004, 17:48:48 »
Armymedic, next time I'm up there I owe you beers.!
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Re: Is Lariam (mefloquin) still in use?
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2004, 01:54:23 »
Armymedic,
Malaria drugs inducing pregnancy!  :o
Don't let this get out or the ladies will have no use for us. :crybaby:

Offline a_himself

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If you are deployed to Afghanistan are you forced to take mefloquine?
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2005, 19:26:16 »
I'm curious about other's who know this information.  I assume that personnel heading to Afghanistan would be given some sort of anti-malaria drug while they are there.  Does the CF force those going overseas to take mefloquine or known by the company name Lariam?  I'm asking because I've read numerous reports that say that this drug has been scientifically linked with an endless list of terrible side effects.  It can cause horrible depression and quite a few suicides have been suspected from its use.  Also I recently read an article in which a group of American soldiers returning from Iraq were diagnosed with permanent brain damage caused by mefloquine.  There is a big controversy over this apparnatly and many are calling on the US government to stop using it and switch to one of the other safer alternative medicines avaliable to prevent malaria.  So for those of you who have been over to Afghanistan or know this type of info, does the CF force those deploying to use Lariam or are alternatives used?

Offline MCG

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Re: If you are deployed to Afghanistan are you forced to take mefloquine?
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2005, 20:07:06 »
You are not forced to take mefloquine.  There are two other drug choices.  Soldiers are given qualified medical advice and then are permitted to choose which anti-malarial drug they will take.

Offline Rider Pride

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Re: If you are deployed to Afghanistan are you forced to take mefloquine?
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2005, 20:07:37 »
Forced.... no.
You are required to take some sort of anti malarial medications. Current approved medications for Ops in Afghanistan are:

Melfloquine (Lariam)-1 tablet a week starting 3 weeks prior until 4 weeks post exposure period
Malarone- Daily starting 1 week prior until 5 days after.
Doxycycline-1 per week.

There is also a post prophylaxis medication called Primiquimine which is taken for 4 weeks after you are complete the above meds.

I personally took Lariam on my tour earlier this yr.

I'm asking because I've read numerous reports that say that this drug has been scientifically linked with an endless list of terrible side effects.   It can cause horrible depression and quite a few suicides have been suspected from its use.   Also I recently read an article in which a group of American soldiers returning from Iraq were diagnosed with permanent brain damage caused by mefloquine.

Every drug has some sort of effect on your body. Some drugs have more them others.   In the case of Melfoquine, there are several mild to severe symptoms which vary in intensity on a individual basis. The question that must be asked "is the reason the drug is being used out weight the "side effects"? In this case does the prophylaxis effect of Larium in preventing soldiers in acquiring deadly strains of malaria out weight potential negative effects of the drug? In this specific case, the CF medical specialists say yes.

Also, if you further investigate the articles you mention, you will note addition mental and physical circumstance which are not quite so obvious or headline catching as the use of the antimalarial Larium. Melfoquine has been in use since the early 90's by literally hundreds of thousands of soldiers. Certainly a few murders in one distinct area by a specific group of people would have something more in common other then a medication they were using.


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Offline a_himself

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Re: If you are deployed to Afghanistan are you forced to take mefloquine?
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2005, 20:25:35 »
Yeah I'm looking to put in for the next task force when they start taking names in January so I'm all nervous and spending a lot of time researching all these little details.  But you answered my question perfectly, thanks a lot guys.

Offline Sheep Dog AT

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Can someone tell me what the current malaria medication is
« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2010, 14:28:06 »
that is being issued for those going overseas.  Thank you.
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Re: Can someone tell me what the current malaria medication is
« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2010, 14:36:35 »
The three most commonly used meds are:

Mefloquine;
Malarone; and
Doxycycline.

What you get depends on where you're going and whether you have any medical limitations vis-a-vis (allergy etc) these meds.
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