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Mefloquine (Mefloquine Hydrochloride) - Indications and Dosage

 
 



INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Treatment of Acute Malaria Infections

Mefloquine hydrochloride tablets are indicated for the treatment of mild to moderate acute malaria caused by mefloquine-susceptible strains of P. falciparum (both chloroquine-susceptible and resistant strains) or by Plasmodium vivax. There are insufficient clinical data to document the effect of mefloquine in malaria caused by P. ovale or P. malariae.

  Note: Patients with acute P. vivax malaria, treated with mefloquine, are at high risk of relapse because mefloquine does not eliminate exoerythrocytic (hepatic phase) parasites. To avoid relapse, after initial treatment of the acute infection with mefloquine, patients should subsequently be treated with an 8-aminoquinoline derivative (e.g., primaquine). Prevention of Malaria

Mefloquine hydrochloride tablets are indicated for the prophylaxis of P. falciparum and P. vivax malaria infections, including prophylaxis of chloroquine-resistant strains of P. falciparum.

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

(see INDICATIONS AND USAGE)

Adult Patients Treatment of mild to moderate malaria in adults caused by P. vivax or mefloquine-susceptible strains of P. falciparum

Five tablets (1250 mg) mefloquine hydrochloride to be given as a single oral dose. The drug should not be taken on an empty stomach and should be administered with at least 8 oz (240 mL) of water.

If a full-treatment course with mefloquine does not lead to improvement within 48 to 72 hours, mefloquine should not be used for retreatment. An alternative therapy should be used. Similarly, if previous prophylaxis with mefloquine has failed, mefloquine should not be used for curative treatment.

  Note: Patients with acute P. vivax malaria, treated with mefloquine, are at high risk of relapse because mefloquine does not eliminate exoerythrocytic (hepatic phase) parasites. To avoid relapse after initial treatment of the acute infection with mefloquine, patients should subsequently be treated with an 8-aminoquinoline derivative (eg, primaquine). Malaria Prophylaxis

One 250 mg mefloquine hydrochloride tablet once weekly.

Prophylactic drug administration should begin 1 week before arrival in an endemic area. Subsequent weekly doses should be taken regularly, always on the same day of each week, preferably after the main meal. To reduce the risk of malaria after leaving an endemic area, prophylaxis must be continued for 4 additional weeks to ensure suppressive blood levels of the drug when merozoites emerge from the liver. Tablets should not be taken on an empty stomach and should be administered with at least 8 oz (240 mL) of water.

In certain cases, eg, when a traveler is taking other medication, it may be desirable to start prophylaxis 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure, in order to ensure that the combination of drugs is well tolerated (see PRECAUTIONS: Drug Interactions).

When prophylaxis with mefloquine fails, physicians should carefully evaluate which antimalarial to use for therapy.

Pediatric Patients Treatment of mild to moderate malaria in pediatric patients caused by mefloquine-susceptible strains of P. falciparum

Twenty (20) to 25 mg/kg body weight. Splitting the total therapeutic dose into 2 doses taken 6 to 8 hours apart may reduce the occurrence or severity of adverse effects. Experience with mefloquine in pediatric patients weighing less than 20 kg is limited. The drug should not be taken on an empty stomach and should be administered with ample water. The tablets may be crushed and suspended in a small amount of water, milk or other beverage for administration to small children and other persons unable to swallow them whole.

If a full-treatment course with mefloquine does not lead to improvement within 48 to 72 hours, mefloquine should not be used for retreatment. An alternative therapy should be used. Similarly, if previous prophylaxis with mefloquine has failed, mefloquine should not be used for curative treatment.

In pediatric patients, the administration of mefloquine for the treatment of malaria has been associated with early vomiting. In some cases, early vomiting has been cited as a possible cause of treatment failure (see PRECAUTIONS). If a significant loss of drug product is observed or suspected because of vomiting, a second full dose of mefloquine should be administered to patients who vomit less than 30 minutes after receiving the drug. If vomiting occurs 30 to 60 minutes after a dose, an additional half-dose should be given. If vomiting recurs, the patient should be monitored closely and alternative malaria treatment considered if improvement is not observed within a reasonable period of time.

The safety and effectiveness of mefloquine to treat malaria in pediatric patients below the age of 6 months have not been established.

Malaria Prophylaxis

The recommended prophylactic dose of mefloquine is approximately 5 mg/kg body weight once weekly. One 250 mg mefloquine hydrochloride tablet should be taken once weekly in pediatric patients weighing over 45 kg. In pediatric patients weighing less than 45 kg, the weekly dose decreases in proportion to body weight:

30 to 45 kg: 3/4 tablet

20 to 30 kg: 1/2 tablet

Experience with mefloquine in pediatric patients weighing less than 20 kg is limited.

HOW SUPPLIED

Mefloquine Hydrochloride tablets 250 mg are round, white to off white tablets, scored, debossed GP 118 on one side and plain on the reverse side, and are supplied as follows:

NDC 54868-5434-0 bottles of 6 tablets
NDC 54868-5434-1 bottles of 8 tablets

Store at 20°-25°C (68°-77°F) (see USP Controlled Room Temperature).

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