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Lariam (Mefloquine)

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What is Generic?

What is a Generic Drug?

A generic drug is a copy of the brand-name drug with the same dosage, safety, strength, quality, consumption method, performance, and intended use. Before generics become available on the market, the generic company must prove it has the same active ingredients as the brand-name drug and works in the same way and in the same amount of time in the body.

The only differences between generics and their brand-name counterparts is that generics are less expensive and may look slightly different (eg. different shape or color), as trademarks laws prevent a generic from looking exactly like the brand-name drug.

Generics are less expensive because generic manufacturers don't have to invest large sums of money to develop a drug. When the brand-name patent expires, generic companies can manufacture a copy of the brand-name and sell it at a substantial discount.


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Lariam (Mefloquine) is a medication used for the prevention and treatment of malaria. It belongs to the class of drugs called antimalarials and works by killing the malaria parasites in the body. Lariam is commonly prescribed for individuals traveling to regions with chloroquine-resistant malaria. Malaria is widespread in areas such as Africa, South America, and Southern Asia.

What is Malaria?

Malaria is an infectious disease that can be life-threatening, caused by a parasite that is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites. It is characterized by symptoms such as fever, chills, sweats, fatigue, and body aches. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent complications and severe illness.

Fact Table
Formula C17H16F6N2O
License US DailyMed
Bioavailability over 85%
Legal status Rx-Only
Chemical Name Mefloquine
Elimination half-life 2 to 4 weeks
Dosage (Strength) 250mg
Pregnancy Consult Doctor
Brands Lariam
Protein binding over 98%
PubChem CID 40692
MedlinePlus a603030
ChEBI Not Assigned
ATC code P01BC02
DrugBank DB00358
KEGG D04895
Routes of administration By mouth

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Take Lariam 250mg after a main meal with a full glass of water.

If you have difficulty swallowing the tablet, you can crush it and mix it with a small glass of milk, water, or another beverage.

If you vomit within 30 minutes after taking Lariam, take a full dose again. If vomiting occurs 30 to 60 minutes after taking the medicine, take a half dose. Contact your doctor if the vomiting continues.

When using Lariam for malaria prevention:

Take the medication once weekly.

Start taking it 1 to 3 weeks prior to entering a malaria-endemic region.

Maintain weekly dosing throughout your stay and for at least 4 weeks after leaving the area.

Administer the weekly dose on the same day each week.

If you discontinue Lariam before the recommended duration, seek advice from a healthcare professional regarding alternative methods of malaria prevention.

If using Lariam to treat malaria:

Follow the instructions provided by your doctor.


The active ingredient in Lariam is Mefloquine.


Before using this medication, disclose your medical history to your doctor.

Mefloquine may cause dizziness or unsteadiness Avoid driving, operating machinery, or engaging in activities that require alertness until you can do so safely.

Mefloquine may reduce the efficacy of live bacterial vaccines.

During pregnancy, use this medication only if necessary.

Mefloquine can pass into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.


Lariam for malaria may have a negative drug interaction with artemether-lumefantrine, atenolol, propranolol, chloroquine, halofantrine, ketoconazole, quinidine, quinine, phenytoin, valproic acid, ziprasidone.

Side Effects

The most common side effects of Lariam are stomach discomfort, reduced desire to eat, feeling nauseous, throwing up, having a headache, muscle soreness, or diarrhea. Make sure to talk to your doctor about these symptoms and discuss your dosage before you buy Lariam.

Frequently Asked Questions about Lariam

How long do Lariam side effects last?

Lariam can have temporary side effects like nausea, dizziness, headache, insomnia, vivid dreams, anxiety, and mood changes. In rare cases, some people may experience persistent side effects known as "post-mefloquine syndrome" or "mefloquine toxicity." These can include neuropsychiatric symptoms that may last for weeks, months, or longer.

How to take Lariam?

Take Lariam with food to reduce stomach upset. Take the full prescribed dose once a week, starting one to two weeks before entering a malaria-prone area. Choose a specific day each week to take it consistently. Take the tablet as a whole with water, refraining from crushing or chewing it. Continue taking Lariam throughout your stay in the malaria-prone area and for the recommended time after leaving.

Is Lariam still prescribed?

Yes, Lariam is still prescribed in certain cases when other antimalarial medications are not suitable or available. Talk to a healthcare professional to determine the best option for you.

How does mefloquine affect the brain?

Mefloquine, the active ingredient in Lariam, can affect the brain by potentially causing neurological and psychiatric symptoms. It may alter serotonin levels, leading to mood changes, anxiety, depression, and hallucinations. In rare cases, some people may experience long-lasting cognitive and balance problems.

How long can you take Lariam for?

It is advised to take one Lariam tablet every week on a consistent day while in a malaria-prone area. This routine should continue for four weeks even after leaving the area. If it is not possible for you to begin taking Lariam one week prior to entering the malaria zone, your doctor might offer alternative instructions for dosage.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.