Today I was caught up with the drug Lariam, otherwise known as Mefloquine. I don’t like taking medicine and I like to find out why I have to take them, the side effects etc, and I ended up finding some interesting stuff.

Initially, I wanted the Singapore people to get the pills for me. But the thing with Malaria prophylaxis is, I need to start taking it one week before departure to Aceh, so that option was killed. I considered forgoing the pills altogether until Dr. Li Shun frightened me into taking them with all the Malaria symptoms. : D

“Since you’re prepared to go to Acheh, you should be prepared to take all the necessary precautions as well.” *guilty*

I didn’t want to queue up at the GH, and I could not get any Malaria pills after going to three pharmacies and three clinics, so I just decided to pop by Sunway Hospital. How expensive could expensive get, right?

WRONG!!! I paid RM80.25 including RM10 for REGISTRATION. T______T MUMMY!!!!! At Tan Tock Seng Singapore, it is $2 per pill. $10 for 5 pills. T_______T

Anyway, I am supposed to take the pills once a week, and continue the dosage even weeks after I’ve come back from Aceh. I had questions about this–why continue prevention after coming back?–but Wiki told me the answer:

Mefloquine is a suppresive prophylactic. This means that it is only effective at killing the malaria parasite once it has entered the erythrocytic stage (blood stage) of its life cycle, and therefore has no effect until the liver stage is complete. That is why it must continue to be taken for four weeks after leaving the area of risk. 

How interesting. Epilim, the long-term medication I am taking, also has another interesting story, but I’ll leave it for another day.

I have a concern about Lariam though. Wiki says:

Mefloquine may have severe and permanent adverse side-effects. It is known to cause severe depression, anxiety, paranoia, aggression, nightmares, insomnia, seizures, birth defects, peripheral motor-sensory neuropathy, vestibular (balance) damage and central nervous system problems.

Apparently weird and vivid dreams are the most common side effects. I’ll let you know if I have them. : ) But then, I already have very vivid and interesting dreams almost every night. I’ve been a heavy dreamer+sleep talker for a year plus now.