Lariam - Mefloquine
© 1996 - 2004 PFPC

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June 15, 2005
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March 4, 2005
Lariam increases psychiatric events

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Lariam is: (R*, S*)-(±)-a-2-piperidinyl-2,8-bis (trifluoromethyl)-4-quinolinemethanol hydrochloride

Lariam is Mefloquine.

Lariam is an antimalarial agent.

Like so many other fluorinated drugs, the drug induces depression. Already in 1998 Australian Health Authorities had alerted to this fact (1), but it wasn’t until 2002 that the FDA issued an advisory (2), and the Lariam product info was adjusted and the medical profession notified of suicide risks.

    “Lariam is contraindicated for prophylaxis in people with active depression, a recent history of depression, generalized anxiety disorder, psychosis, schizophrenia or other major psychiatric disorders, or with a history of convulsions.”

   UPI has reported repeatedly on the severe mental problems caused by Lariam, including suicide (3).


1) Australian Adverse Drug Reactions Bulletin - "Depression - could it be the drug?" Volume 17, Number 1, February 1998 802.htm

2) FDA Medwatch (2002) ardoc.pdf

3) UPI Investigations:



UPI Investigations:

“Since March 2002, UPI reporters Mark Benjamin and Dan Olmsted have been investigating severe mental problems associated with Lariam, a drug that has been prescribed to 5 million Americans and 25 million people worldwide” (1).



FDA Medwatch (2003) pdf

US Patent: 4,579,855
Bomches H, Hardegger B - Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. (Nutley, NJ) “Melfloquin hydrochloride”

Lariam Action USA - Litigation

SEE ALSO:  "The Nightmare Drug,”
"Fifth Estate," CBC TV, Canada, October 16, 2002

van Riemsdijk MM, Sturkenboom MC, Ditters JM, Tulen JH, Ligthelm RJ, Overbosch D, Stricker BH - “Low body mass index is associated with an increased risk of neuropsychiatric adverse events and concentration impairment in women on mefloquine” Br J Clin Pharmacol.  57(4):506-12 (2004) MEDLINE

van Riemsdijk MM, Ditters JM, Sturkenboom MC, Tulen JH, Ligthelm RJ, Overbosch D, Stricker BH - “Neuropsychiatric events during prophylactic use of mefloquine before travelling”  Eur J Clin Pharmacol 58(6):441-5  (2002) FULL TEXT

RX Info:

Physics: Trifluoromethyl radical (CF3) tion=CF3