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Mefloquine is used in the treatment of malaria

How it works

Mefloquine is a weak base that reaches high concentration within the malarial parasite and causes accumulation of toxic heme pigment, which kills it.

Common side effects

Abdominal pain, Abnormal dreams, Anxiety, Chills, Depression, Diarrhoea, Dizziness, Fever, Headache, Altered heart rate, Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping), Itching, Loss of appetite, Muscle pain, Nausea, Rash, Ringing in ear, Vertigo, Visual impairment, Vomiting, Fatigue

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Expert advice

  • Consult your doctor before taking mefloquine if you have fits (seizures), any heart diseases or liver disorders.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you experience pain, burning, tingling, numbness in hands/feet and/or muscle weakness or problems in eyes or with vision after taking mefloquine.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery while using mefloquine as it may cause dizziness and visual disturbances.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions



Is mefloquine safe?
Yes. Mefloquine is safe if used at the prescribed doses for the prescribed duration as advised by your doctor


Is mefloquine safe for babies?
It is not recommended for use in babies below 3 months and weighing less than 5 kg


Is mefloquine an antibiotic/ a quinolone/ does it contain sulphur or sulfa/ contain quinine?
No. Mefloquine is an antimalarial drug with activity against malaria causing parasites. It is a quinine antimalarial and does not contain sulphur/ sulfa or quinolone

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Is mefloquine the same as doxycycline/ chloroquine?
No. Mefloquine is not the same as doxycycline or chloroquine. All three drugs have different mechanism of action and indications


How does mefloquine work?
Mefloquine is an antimalarial drug. It works by killing the malaria causing parasite by destroying the parasites at a crucial stage of development (asexual intraerythocytic stage)


What does mefloquine treat?
Mefloquine is used in the prevention and treatment of malaria


Does mefloquine cause insomnia?
Yes. Insomnia (difficulty falling asleep) is a common side effect of mefloquine treatment


Is mefloquine safe for G6PD deficiency?
Yes. Studies have indicated that mefloquine is safe for use in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency.

Content on this page was last updated on 27 March, 2017, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)