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Important new safety information for Lariam (mefloquine) regarding visual disturbances including optic neuropathy
Roche Hong Kong Limited (Roche), a licensed drug wholesaler, informed the Department of Health (DH) about important new safety information for Lariam (mefloquine) regarding visual disturbances including optic neuropathy. Lariam is indicated for the chemoprophylaxis, therapy and stand-by treatment of malaria.

According to Roche, treatment with Lariam may be associated with an increased risk of eye disorders including cataract, retinal disorders and optic neuropathy which may occur with latency during or after treatment. These eye disorders can present with visual impairment and blurred vision. In some cases the event recovered very slowly but there were also reports of permanent sequelae. Any patient on treatment with Lariam who experiences visual disorders should be referred to his treating physician as certain conditions (such as retinal disorders or optic neuropathy) may require stopping treatment with Lariam.

In Hong Kong, Lariam Tab 250mg (HK-36373) is registered by Roche and it is a prescription-only medicine. Regarding this issue, Roche informed DH that they will issue a Direct Healthcare Professional Communication to inform healthcare professional about the risk of eye disorders today. Roche has submitted the application to change the package insert by including the relevant safety information. The application is under evaluation and process. DH has not received any adverse drug reactions against Lariam so far and will keep vigilant on any safety updates of the drug.

Ends/ Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Issued at HKT 12:00
Related Information:
Australia: Safety advisory: Mefloquine hydrochloride (Lariam) - potential for vi... Posted 2013-10-11
Singapore: Communication on risk of eye disorders with use of LariamĀ® (mefloquin... Posted 2013-08-01