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I Can't Imagine Malaria Being Worse Than This
Citation:   Itush. "I Can't Imagine Malaria Being Worse Than This: An Experience with Mefloquine (exp99183)". Feb 2, 2020.

250 mg oral Pharms - Mefloquine
Lariam is an anti malaria drug which you take once a week. It has various possible psychiatric side effects ranging from mild depression to full blown psychosis while the most interesting and common side effect is that of 'strange dreams'.

As far as my pharmacological experience goes I haven't had much except for weed but I have done extensive meditation and had shifting mood swings for many years and I've had many lucid dreams so I am very sensitive about my emotional well being and very aware of shifting states of consciousness. I was very curious and excited to see these 'strange dreams' everyone was talking about and upon reading the label I understood that maybe I should expect some more psychoactive side effects.

I started taking it a week before going to Ethiopia and after a few times I managed to more or less map the short term effects (I also have a friend that reported similar effects):
About an hour after taking it I felt a little bit 'absent minded' with some very light tunnel vision. This lasts for about 4 hours and is almost enjoyable if I manage to actually notice it. After about 8 hours from taking the pill comes the nasty part where I get paranoid and anxious for about 2 hours. It is quite similar to an intense weed paranoid hangover.
It is quite similar to an intense weed paranoid hangover.
After that everything is pretty normal until I go to sleep.

The dreams were indeed strange:
The dreams I had the next one or two nights after taking the pill felt more real, with darker themes but also less coherent. Most disturbing was that the dreams actually felt more real than reality and the most difficult time was waking up when I had 30 seconds that felt like 30 minutes that I try and wrap my head around reality again. That, indeed, was the most unpleasant part but even that was definitely worth experiencing.

The really bad part I noticed after about a month into it. What happened to me (and that happened to more people I talked to) is that I just found myself not wanting to take it without even being able to explain to myself why. Until I actually did stop taking it and everything made sense.

After 5 weeks of taking it, I missed the pill by 2 days and when I woke up (after a wonderful and coherent dream) I was happy. Very happy. I didn't believe how happy and excited I was about living and just going about my day. In fact, I was literally skipping down the street while the night before I was crying myself to sleep feeling lonely and paranoid and not understanding wtf is wrong with my life and how can I be so miserable when everything around me is so incredible and amazing (travelling by myself in Ethiopia and having awesome adventures and meeting kind, warm and welcoming people everywhere).

I started looking back at the past month I had on the pill and suddenly everything was made clear. I was sad and paranoid. Constantly disappointed with everything, nervous and unsociable as soon as the sun sets (I gotta get out of here! why are they looking at me like that?! fuck, I just need to go to my room, lock the door and relax!), I couldn't recall any of my dreams (extremely unusual for me) and I just felt that even though I was travelling and felt more alive, life just didn't feel as real. I was more alive but less present.

Luckily, all that ended overnight.

And it is also worth mentioning that I was depressed before, for several times and this felt very different so it didn't even make me suspicious. In fact, the whole experience was mostly under my radar until I actually stopped taking it and I think that is the most dangerous part.

After dumping it the change happened overnight and was unmistakably wonderful.


Exp Year: 2013ExpID: 99183
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: 25
Published: Feb 2, 2020Views: 1,021
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Pharms - Mefloquine (517), Dreams (85) : Difficult Experiences (5), Depression (15), Hangover / Days After (46), Medical Use (47), Not Applicable (38)

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