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  #1  
Old November 5, 2008, 04:42 AM
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samjad samjad is offline
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Default Malaria Pill Lariam/ Never Ever Take it!!!!

I don't know if anyone else had this problem. Me and my wife started taking Lariam as part of Vaccination before going to Bangladesh. GP prescribed Lariam to prevent catching Malaria in Bangladesh.

He mentioned we might have "some" side effects including vivid dreams, upset tummy. I thought I won't mind some Vivid dreams. Upset tummy isn't a big deal either. On the leaflet however the side effects were more than you can imagine. It covers all sort of mental and physical health problem you might have including risk of death!!. so even if you die you can't say anything as this was on the leaflet in small letters.

But me being me, I thought it's not gonna happen to me!. We just took One Lariam Tablet last week, and now I am giong through the ordeal like thousands of other people including depression,insomnia,suicidal(!!! YES!!! , I can't beleive myself), racing heartbeat, pain in the ear.
My wife is worst affected, she is going crazy, mood swings, pins and niddles in fingers and partial deffness/ringing sound in the left ear. This experience is horrible.

At this point we went to the web to find some information and see if it's the Lariam casuing the symptoms. And to my horror it is!!!.

The worst part is, you can't open most of the sites where they critisise Lariam.Now I am starting to think that it's part of a big conspiracy like in "Constant Gardner" . But I wouldn't know as I am supposed to feel paranoid.


So guys, be carefull about Lariam/Malaria Pills. and please share your thoughts.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/...in538144.shtml

Very important and usefull link, I wish I read it before I took the meds.

http://www.askapatient.com/viewratin...91&name=LARIAM
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  #2  
Old November 5, 2008, 08:59 PM
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Orpheus Orpheus is offline
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samjad, is this a chain letter or did this really happen to you? If you are writing from own experience, then I think you should seek medical attention.
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  #3  
Old November 5, 2008, 10:51 PM
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I heard that too..a friend of mine and his wife had it few weeks ago before visiting Bangladesh. Nothing happend to my friend but his wife experienced some weird dreams after having it.
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  #4  
Old November 6, 2008, 02:21 AM
Niceman70 Niceman70 is offline
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thanks for sharing..
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  #5  
Old November 6, 2008, 03:29 AM
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This is happening to me Orphy!!. I am the first hand victim here. So I thought I will share it with my fello BC members , as most of us live abroad and go home time to time.
GPs tend to prescribe this drug if you going to Asia and Africa . I just want every one to know the consequences of this pills.

I will if needed walk in a mosquito net,sleep , eat in a mosquito net. But I will never ever take this Pill.

I am feeling back to normal after one week now. But this can stay in my blood for 100 days.
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  #6  
Old November 6, 2008, 07:19 AM
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auntu auntu is offline
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So it's better not to take that pill. The amount of side effect ur having u better come to BD without any tension. All u need to take is precaution. Use nets at night, stay away from bush area at evening. I hope It's gonna be safe tour for u and ur wife here

btw after how many years ur coming to BD?
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  #7  
Old November 6, 2008, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samjad
I am feeling back to normal after one week now.
Good to hear that. Hopefully, you have a safe and an enjoyable trip to Bangladesh.
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  #8  
Old November 6, 2008, 07:38 AM
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Compared to Dengue, BD probably has much lower prevalence of malaria cases. The only person I know personally who contracted malaria is an army officer posted in a camp in Khagrachhari. Apart from him, I know at least ten other people who had Dengue in Dhaka city (including my mother).

Eitherways, as a layman I would probably buy a bottle of Off! spray, come to bd, smear it on myself and do the holidays.

However given that I live in BD, I prefer using my hands to kill the damn things.
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  #9  
Old November 6, 2008, 10:07 AM
HereWeGo HereWeGo is offline
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Dude, being a Bengali if you feel the need to take Malaria preventive pills just because u lived abroad for a period of time than U might as well deserve the side effects. Hairey bangali...

As someone said, if you are not planing on going for a commando training with the Army, Malaria is hard to get. Dengue is more pervalent.
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  #10  
Old November 6, 2008, 10:33 AM
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Mate, thanks for the info.
As echoed by some, you would not catch malaria with the mossie bites here.
Yes, Dengue may be, but this is not the season for it.
Anyways, get better soon and tell your wife not to panic, this is not a swamp hole.
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  #11  
Old November 6, 2008, 12:20 PM
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Thanks guys..
I go to bangladesh almost every year. I never took any Malaria pills. But my wife going to BD for the First time . And the Nurse at the local surgery made her paranoid saying she must take Malaria pills.
So she took it and I thought I would give it a try.

I wish I could start some sort or awareness program on Malaria in Bangladesh and against Using these pills. These pills should be banned!!.
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  #12  
Old November 6, 2008, 08:54 PM
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sunny747 sunny747 is offline
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Hey, you don't need any vaccine to go Bangladesh, unless you go and live in the jungle. Telling you from my experience, i go BD every year without any vaccine whatever and i'm perfectly alright.

But you should take care of your health. Start going to gym, run in the morning. If you feel hyper or tense, just run.

I used to have panic attack and my heart beat used to raise. Instead of having any medicine, doc told me to run. so i just ran and ran. Now i'm perfectly alright and running is my habit now.
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  #13  
Old November 6, 2008, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samjad
Thanks guys..
I go to bangladesh almost every year. I never took any Malaria pills. But my wife going to BD for the First time . And the Nurse at the local surgery made her paranoid saying she must take Malaria pills.
So she took it and I thought I would give it a try.

I wish I could start some sort or awareness program on Malaria in Bangladesh and against Using these pills. These pills should be banned!!.
Why don't you guys sue the Nurse now?
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  #14  
Old November 6, 2008, 10:03 PM
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Orpheus Orpheus is offline
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I decided to do some searching and found a nice article on the nature magazine regarding p.falciparum distribution (the mosquito that causes malaria). Apparently in south east asia, there is high number of people that are at risk but almost all fall under hypoendemic/mesoendemic category, meaning the transmission rate isn't that high whereas in Africa transmission rate is really high, so they fall under hyperendemic/holoendemic category.

I have attached the table below:


[url=http://g.imageshack.us/img444/pfalcimapit8.jpg/1/][IMG]http:




So Bangladesh is at risk but they still fall under that hypoendemic category - so the risk is there but it isn't nearly as bad as in africa. If I were to visit Africa I would definitly consider the prophylactics.

Also plasmodium spp tend to be localized rather than diffused. So there would be certain areas in Bangladesh that will have incidences of malaria whereas other areas will be malaria free.

What surprised me about samjad case is that both him and his wife had side effects. Every medicine in the world have side effects but what we want to see is if the benefit outweighs the harm. So even potentially dangerous pill are on the market if let's say it will only badly affect 1 out of 1000 people whereas help others.

There are definitely bad pills on the market (not all FDA approved pills are safe, there are a lot of politics behing these approvals - they are not solely on clinical trial data). So it would be prudent to see data on the pill to judge for yourself if it's worth the risk of taking it.

So given the data and the associated risk - I think I would consider it if I am visiting africa - but not so for BD. Dengue is definitely what I would be more concerned about.
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Last edited by Orpheus; November 6, 2008 at 10:22 PM..
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  #15  
Old November 6, 2008, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muradnyc
Why don't you guys sue the Nurse now?
He doesn't have a case I am afraid. But if he can collect enough data showing this pill does more harm than good (good luck on that cuz most of the clinical trials are funded by drug companies themselves), then he can sue both the drug company and FDA.

there was a case against Wyeth for a pill they put on the market that helps you to lose weight. The pill did work (you would lose weight, so given the potential monkey making opportunities, a lot of negative results were deliberately ignored to keep the pill on the market). Basically you would lose weight but long term, you would have valvular lesions (meaning your heart valves wouldn't work properly). Now the company has to pay some 200+ billion dollars in damage to their patients. There is very little incentives to keep pills that fight disease like malaria because they are endemic in poor countries. Simply put nobody cares. So I would think if there was enough evidence against a pill that fight diseases among the poor.. they would just pull it off the shelf. That's just my opinion
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Last edited by Orpheus; November 6, 2008 at 10:20 PM..
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  #16  
Old November 7, 2008, 10:19 AM
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Well actually, the evidence for mefloquine (Lariam) is pretty good in terms of its efficacy at preventing the contraction of malaria (i.e the systematic review or the randomised controlled trials performed were probably not subsidised by Roche or any other pharmaceutical company). The main reason for prescribing mefloquine over other more traditional anti-malarials is due to the emergence of resistant strains. Now, Bangladesh must have documented resistant strains and that's probably why the GP was so hot to prescribe it without really knowing the prevalence of the disease. Unfortunately the evidence is quite as good at identifying that the side effects of mefloquine are quite serious and more common than we would like especially, it seems, in women. For that reason, it's contraindicated for people with existing psychiatric disorders.

A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine (N Engl J Med 2008 Aug 7;359(6):603-12) has this to say about mefloquine safety:

Quote:
Safety of Mefloquine
Neuropsychiatric and other adverse events due to mefloquine (Table 3) have received widespread media attention. Mefloquine has been used by more than 30 million persons since 1989, and a large published database exists.244142434445 In doses used for chemoprophylaxis, severe side effects such as seizures and psychosis occur rarely (in approximately 1 of 6500 to 1 of 10,600 persons using the drug).4647 The rates of less serious but potentially disruptive neuropsychological problems (e.g., insomnia, nightmares, irritability, and depression) appear to be in the range of 1 per 200 to 1 per 500 users 2645; however, data on rates of these symptoms among travelers who are not receiving mefloquine remain inadequate.45 Vivid dreams occur in 15 to 25% of users, but they are generally tolerable. Overall, approximately 95% of mefloquine users are able to complete the prescribed course of treatment.
The moral of the story is, samjad, just because you and your wife both had adverse events in response to the Lariam (which, if you look at the statistics, is amazing.. do you play the lotto? you should), doesn't mean everyone else will. The point of starting the meds one week before you leave is to see it's adverse effect profile so you can stop it before you leave like you've just done. I might add that there's nothing wrong with protecting yourself medically if it's tolerable, even if you're facing a low risk, and that unfortunately dengue isn't preventable that way yet so there's no point comparing.

Here are some trials that have been done related to mefloquine:
- Mefloquine compared with doxycycline for the prophylaxis of malaria in Indonesian soldiers. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
- Atovaquone plus chloroguanide versus mefloquine for malaria prophylaxis: a focus on neuropsychiatric adverse events.
- Atovaquone-proguanil versus mefloquine for malaria prophylaxis in nonimmune travelers: results from a randomized double-blind study

Anyway, samjad, hope you and your wife recover soon and enjoy your malaria-and-dengue-free time in Bangladesh.
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  #17  
Old November 7, 2008, 04:20 PM
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Orpheus Orpheus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mona
Unfortunately the evidence is quite as good at identifying that the side effects of mefloquine are quite serious and more common than we would like especially, it seems, in women. For that reason, it's contraindicated for people with existing psychiatric disorders.


Are you saying that all women have psychiatric disorder? I agree!
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  #18  
Old November 8, 2008, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orpheus
Are you saying that all women have psychiatric disorder? I agree!
Ah you'd like to pin all your problems on that if it were true, wouldn't you Orphy?
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