What Are the Most Common Mefloquine Side Effects?

Meshell Powell
Meshell Powell
Confusion is one possible side effect of mefloquine.
Confusion is one possible side effect of mefloquine.

Most mefloquine side effects are relatively mild and do not cause significant health risks, although serious complications are possible. Digestive disturbances, headaches, and dizziness are among the most frequently reported side effects of this anti-malarial drug. More serious mefloquine side effects that should be reported to a doctor right away include mood changes, hallucinations, and confusion. Uncontrollable muscle movements, seizures, and allergic reactions are potential complications of this medication. Questions or concerns about potential mefloquine side effects should be discussed with a doctor or pharmacist.

Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are some of the most common mefloquine side effects. These symptoms may be able to be alleviated by taking the medication with food or milk. Extra fluids should be consumed if these symptoms develop in order to prevent complications such as dehydration. Severe abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, or vomit resembling coffee grounds should be reported to a doctor for further evaluation.

Dizziness, drowsiness, and headaches are possible mefloquine side effects. Caution should be used when performing activities that require focus or concentration, such as driving or operating machinery. A sudden or severe headache may indicate a serious problem, such as stroke or aneurysm, and should be treated as a medical emergency.

Mental changes such as confusion, hallucinations, or delusions are among the more serious potential mefloquine side effects and should be reported to a medical professional immediately. Mood swings, agitation, or thoughts of suicide should also be reported right away. If a patient becomes violent or combative, emergency medical services should be contacted to assist with transportation to the nearest medical facility.

Tremors, uncontrollable muscle movements, and seizures may occur when taking this medication. Dosage changes may help reduce these symptoms, although the medication may have to be discontinued in some cases. Insomnia, vivid dreams, and muscle or joint pain are possible mefloquine side effects. Additional medications may be prescribed to treat pain or to help the patient sleep if these symptoms become particularly bothersome.

Allergic reactions to mefloquine can range from mild to severe in nature. Skin reactions may include itching, hives, or blistering of the skin. More severe reactions, such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, and facial swelling, are common symptoms of a potentially life-threatening type of allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. Emergency medical care is vital any time that an allergic reaction is suspected because anaphylaxis often develops suddenly and can become fatal within a matter of minutes.

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    • Confusion is one possible side effect of mefloquine.
      Confusion is one possible side effect of mefloquine.