Nikos Alexandris

Remote Sensing Scientist, Dr

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On Mefloquine’s side-effects

Mefloquine hydrochloride (Lariam) is an officially recommended & legally sold drug against Malaria. It turns out it is (at least for me) seriously Evil.

Delhi, 21. 02. 2014

I am in Delhi. It’s Day 0, and tomorrow Day 1 starts. I am excited, yet shocked at the same time. In general, however, it seems that if you pay attention to the basics (what/where to drink/eat) everything is fine (a reliable Swiss microbiologist Prof. told me yesterday) and the people are amazingly kind.

Anyhow, herewith I share my experience with the drug Mefloquine hydrochloride (Lariam). It is an officially recommended and legally sold drug as an anti-Malaria protection measure (Citation Needed). Though the risk for Malaria is, during this period, low here in North India (as per WHO’s stats as well — Citation Needed), after lots of mind-boggling readings on the net, I considered it as a necessity for me, for staying healthy in this trip. Perhaps wrongly so.

I have started using Lariam two weeks ago (1 tablet/week) as per the drugs recommended instructions. It turns out it is (at least for me) seriously Evil. I have taken 2 tablets so far. Today (February 21st) I was thinking to proceed with the chemoprophylaxis. I thought it all over again though:

  • Personal friends, as well as my family, already know and can confirm that I was talking about dizziness, sleepiness (not insomnia!) and extremely vivid (mainly bad) dreams I have had experienced the last two weeks.
  • Last weekend, my intention was to go for a last hard climbing session before leaving from Greece. The lack of concentration and the impossibility to coordinate myself on the rock, were something I experience(d) for the first time. Awfull feeling.
  • The last 2-3 days I had this awkward feeling, when in noisy environment (e.g. in the plane during flight), that I hardly recognise the intro of my new phone’s ringing tone.

I immediately abort(ed) this “prophylaxis” after reading this very serious statement by FDA regarding Mefloquine hydrochloride. The statement sounds a bit worrying. But I already feel better since Tuesday (with the exception of the ringing ear during the flight).

I strongly undoubtedly support that you should never — ever — take this drug! I informed myself as best as I could before starting this by 1) reading a lot of (both official & unofficial) information & random statements, and 2) talking with people (experts in the field as well) who already have done this (trip in India).

Since I *always* try really hard to avoid any kind of drug(s), unless I really can’t handle physical pain or it’s a matter of life and death, I have had a Serious mental fight with my Ego to convince myself to take this drug as a protection against Malaria (in the case of a dangerous bite). Stop. Besides, during this period there are no(t many) mosquitoes around to see (yet).

Stay Healthy, Clear & Always prefer the body’s own natural drugs, especially the ones gained after intensive exercise


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