Living in a Mefloquine World

What is it like to take really nasty malaria prevention medication for an extended period of time? Well, when I took doxy (another malaria prophylaxis), it ate a giant hole through my stomach. Anytime I got into a car it felt like someone was cracking an egg over my stomach and pain would just slowly seep through my abdomen. Luckily that’s gone down since switching to Mefloquine.

I’ve only been on Mefloquine for less than a month, and let me tell you. This medication is ridiculous. Mefloquine is known for causing very vivid and intense dreams. It can also cause hallucinations, nausea, dizziness, hair loss, loss of balance, depression, and sleep issues.

My mefloquine dreams just started and I’ll admit they are kinda fun. The other day I was reading before a nap, once I fell asleep my dreams picked up exactly where the book left off. My mind was filling in the next pages with adventure and intrigue and I was now the main character. I’ve also been having dreams in which I text someone and have a very lengthy conversation. But in all these dreams I’m in the exact same spot in my bed in the same setting as when I went to sleep. So I wake up and have to check my phone to figure out what was real. It is pretty creepy.

My entire life, I have always been a morning person. I will jump out of bed and get to it. I never just sit in bed delaying the inevitable, I can count how many times I’ve pressed snooze on two hands. But now that I’m on mefloquine, I can’t sleep. I used to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night, now I’m lucky if I get 5 or 6. If I nap, I’m groggy for over an hour after I wake up. Sometimes I can’t fall asleep unless I take a benadryl. I’m hoping things will improve with time, but a little birdy tells me that I used up all my luck on big stuff.

In this month of thanksgiving, I have to admit – I’ll be thankful when I don’t have to worry about which is worse: malaria medication side effects or malaria.


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