Monday, September 1

to lariam or not to lariam

i've been to puerto princesa 3 times before and i've never taken any malarial prophylaxis.
however, its been quite the talk lately, probably because its such a large group going and paranoia is high.

and i keep remembering, how, when mike had told me news of arnel mallari's passing (from malaria), i instantly recalled standing in the middle of the iwahig/balsahan trail, in the middle of a bamboo thicket, i (with arnel, adri and tere), was swarmed by hundreds of mosquitoes who didn't seem familiar with OFF lotion and what it was supposed to do.

nicky had recommended lariam (mefloquine hcl, roche), and i really didn't pay much attention to his directions.  today, doc chito emailed everyone a list of what they could take, including lariam, which should be taken 1 to 2 weeks BEFORE departure and 4 weeks AFTER arriving back in manila.

oops.  i'm leaving saturday.

to top it off, i googled lariam and found pretty disturbing info. apparently it can have really harsh side effects:
mefloquine may cause psychiatric symptoms in a number of patients ranging from anxiety, paranoisam and depression to hallucinations and psychotic behavior.  on occasions, these symptoms have been reported to continue long after mefloquine has been stopped.  rare cases of suicidal ideation and suicide have been reported though no relationship to drug administration has been confirmed.  (product insert)

uh oh. wow. it was linked to the suicide of american soldiers who came from afghanistan. and... there was even a law & order svu episode bsed on those events!
very interesting. google can turn up such paranoia-inducing information (literally).

well, if i start acting psychotic in class, you'll know which prophylactic i took.


  1. To Lariam and be Miriam. Hmmm. You could be senator some day. ;)

  2. My friend even suffered hair loss long after the delusional episodes. I don't know either but the death of Arnel is really disturbing.

  3. scary ang side effects..mas scary sa malaria...or pareho lang. I do take anti-malaris meds, walang side effects. pero i think may mas effective pa...i will text you the name. thanks for this info trinket!

  4. haha.. i can imagine what a psychotic miss trinket would be like.. hahaha
    miss you maam

  5. I suggest taking the other available meds. Research the net...i don't think you'll find anything good about Lariam. It's not even available in Denmark anymore because of it being so high-risk! Better safe, especially when there are other alternative meds.

    I took Doxycycline for 4 months. And only had one episode of being super naueseous when i forgot to eat before taking it.

  6. ayun naman eh! ;D go ma'am trinket! natuwa ako sa side effects, parang gusto ko rin i-try... isama mo naman kami para hindi free cut... ;D happy birthday!!!

  7. Hi Trinket, do you have Malarone back there? The schedule is easier with no psych episodes. P. falciparum is sensitive still.

    If you want to go really safe, doxycycline daily 1 week prior to 7 weeks after is another. It is an off label use. Enjoy!

  8. Thanks for the suggestions everyone!
    I took Lariam the day after I wrote this blog, so far so good naman! :)