Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

Mefloquine, cure or poison?

I’m 22 year old 2nd Year student studying Bachelor of Science. As you have read the title of this blogpost, you are probably wondering what the hell mefloquine mean.

I have never taken this drug before but I have been prescribed chloroquine when I used to be sick from malaria when I was 5 years old.

As I do remember, I have taken chloroquine tablets not once but many times because of malaria sickness.

Before I discuss the mefloquine with you, I would like to tell a bit about myself, I’ m originally from South Sudan. South Sudan is newly country border Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. I came here to Australia in 2005 as refugee, so I could survive and live peacefully without fear.

A part from war, malaria is also one of the death factors in Sudan. Children die every month from malaria and this brings me back to why I chose to discuss the science behind mefloquine.

Even though mefloquine do serves our life, there has been controversy regard of using this antimalarial drug. The aim of this blogposts will focus on the disadvantages of mefloquine to a community at large.

In the first blogpost, I’m going to talk about the history of Lariam (mefloquine). Meanwhile the second blogpost is going to be about the negative side effects of mefloquine to our human body system especially the central nervous system which is the brain.

Lastly but not least, I’m also going to discuss with you another 3 different chemical compounds of antimalarials: hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), chloroquine (generic) and Primaquine (Primacin).

But on these 3 blogposts, I will be focusing on one specific antimalarial drug and that is meflouine, the reason I’m including chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine and primaquine, it’s because they are classified as chemically correlated with each other in term of bonding.

“Mefloquine hydrochloride (trade name Lariam) is a 4- quinolinemethanol synthetic quinolone that has been used to treat chloroquine resistant P. falciparum malaria (McCarthy 2015, p. 1-23)”.

Lariam was created in 1970s at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Centre in United States of America and it was then utilised in 1980.

Mefloquine has been such an incredible drug for treating malaria for so many ways in our society comparing to today use. There are many reasons to why this antimalarial drug as greatly increased in use over the years;

The first reason is that, an increasing in the number of people traveling on holidays and business to places like Africa, Asia, and South America.

Secondly, it’s also use to treat P. faciparium malaria that has resisted to chloroquine in those places where malaria is common. Most importantly, it was used on number of military soldiers during the World War in 21 century.

Malaria kill over 200 million populations per year Worldwide, it is also suggested that 600,000 mainly African sub- Saharan children die from this threating parasite disorder (RTSS, 2014). “Malaria is transmitted by the bite of an Anopheles mosquito (Miles 2009, p.381-382).”

Box Lariam (mefloquine) antimalarial tablets

Soldiers at risk from anti-malarial drug, claims ex- senior medical officer (2016).



A – CQ 100 chloroquine 100 mg, tablet (2016)


Antimalaria Drugs – Primaquine Tablet (2016)


Miles,H, Kenneth, B & William, M 2009, Pharmacology: Principles and Practice, 3rd edn, Oxford UK ,London.

McKenna, L & Gigi, A 2012, Pharmacology for Nursing and Midwifery/ Lisa Mckenna; Anecita Gigi Lim, 1st edn, Liverpool, Sydney NSW 2000.

McCarthy, S 2015, ‘Malaria Prevention, Mefloquine Neurotoxicity, Neuropsychiatric Illness, and Risk-Benefit Analysis in the Australian Defence Force’, Journal of Parasitology Research, vol. 2015, pp. 1-23, doi: 10.1155/2015/287651.

The RTS,S Clinical Trials Partnership (2014). (2014). Efficacy and Safety of the RTS,S/AS01 Malaria Vaccine during 18 Months after Vaccination: A Phase 3 Randomized, Controlled Trial in Children and Young Infants at 11 African Sites. PLoS Medicine, no.11-7, doi: e1001685.






About mthiik

My name is Moy. I am 22 years old and I am studying bachelor of science at Deakin University Waurn ponds campus.

One comment on “Mefloquine, cure or poison?

  1. wkerrydeakineduau
    April 23, 2016

    Hi Moi!
    You’ve used referencing really well in this post, and it’s really interesting to get a background on your own personal involvement with this drug and disease.
    You said how does Mefloquine differ from Chloroquine or other antimalarials in it’s effects on humans? And how do the two drugs work against malaria?
    I’m looking forward to seeing part two!


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on April 5, 2016 by in Geelong - Friday 3pm.

Deakin Authors

%d bloggers like this: