UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

The position of mefloquine as a 21st century malaria chemoprophylaxis


Schlagenhauf, Patricia; Adamcova, Miriam; Regep, Loredana; Schaerer, Martin T; Rhein, Hans-Georg (2010). The position of mefloquine as a 21st century malaria chemoprophylaxis. Malaria Journal, 9(1):357.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Malaria chemoprophylaxis prevents the occurrence of the symptoms of malaria. Travellers to high-risk Plasmodium falciparum endemic areas need an effective chemoprophylaxis. METHODS: A literature search to update the status of mefloquine as a malaria chemoprophylaxis. RESULTS: Except for clearly defined regions with multi-drug resistance, mefloquine is effective against the blood stages of all human malaria species, including the recently recognized fifth species, Plasmodium knowlesi. New data were found in the literature on the tolerarability of mefloquine and the use of this medication by groups at high risk of malaria. DISCUSSION: Use of mefloquine for pregnant women in the second and third trimester is sanctioned by the WHO and some authorities (CDC) allow the use of mefloquine even in the first trimester. Inadvertent pregnancy while using mefloquine is not considered grounds for pregnancy termination. Mefloquine chemoprophylaxis is allowed during breast-feeding. Studies show that mefloquine is a good option for other high-risk groups, such as long-term travellers, VFR travellers and families with small children. Despite a negative media perception, large pharmaco-epidemiological studies have shown that serious adverse events are rare. A recent US evaluation of serious events (hospitalization data) found no association between mefloquine prescriptions and serious adverse events across a wide range of outcomes including mental disorders and diseases of the nervous system. As part of an in-depth analysis of mefloquine tolerability, a potential trend for increased propensity for neuropsychiatric adverse events in women was identified in a number of published clinical studies. This trend is corroborated by several cohort studies that identified female sex and low body weight as risk factors. CONCLUSION: The choice of anti-malarial drug should be an evidence-based decision that considers the profile of the individual traveller and the risk of malaria. Mefloquine is an important, first-line anti-malarial drug but it is crucial for prescribers to screen medical histories and inform mefloquine users of potential adverse events. Careful prescribing and observance of contraindications are essential. For some indications, there is currently no replacement for mefloquine available or in the pipeline.

BACKGROUND: Malaria chemoprophylaxis prevents the occurrence of the symptoms of malaria. Travellers to high-risk Plasmodium falciparum endemic areas need an effective chemoprophylaxis. METHODS: A literature search to update the status of mefloquine as a malaria chemoprophylaxis. RESULTS: Except for clearly defined regions with multi-drug resistance, mefloquine is effective against the blood stages of all human malaria species, including the recently recognized fifth species, Plasmodium knowlesi. New data were found in the literature on the tolerarability of mefloquine and the use of this medication by groups at high risk of malaria. DISCUSSION: Use of mefloquine for pregnant women in the second and third trimester is sanctioned by the WHO and some authorities (CDC) allow the use of mefloquine even in the first trimester. Inadvertent pregnancy while using mefloquine is not considered grounds for pregnancy termination. Mefloquine chemoprophylaxis is allowed during breast-feeding. Studies show that mefloquine is a good option for other high-risk groups, such as long-term travellers, VFR travellers and families with small children. Despite a negative media perception, large pharmaco-epidemiological studies have shown that serious adverse events are rare. A recent US evaluation of serious events (hospitalization data) found no association between mefloquine prescriptions and serious adverse events across a wide range of outcomes including mental disorders and diseases of the nervous system. As part of an in-depth analysis of mefloquine tolerability, a potential trend for increased propensity for neuropsychiatric adverse events in women was identified in a number of published clinical studies. This trend is corroborated by several cohort studies that identified female sex and low body weight as risk factors. CONCLUSION: The choice of anti-malarial drug should be an evidence-based decision that considers the profile of the individual traveller and the risk of malaria. Mefloquine is an important, first-line anti-malarial drug but it is crucial for prescribers to screen medical histories and inform mefloquine users of potential adverse events. Careful prescribing and observance of contraindications are essential. For some indications, there is currently no replacement for mefloquine available or in the pipeline.

Citations

52 citations in Web of Science®
55 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

105 downloads since deposited on 27 Dec 2010
6 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:27 Dec 2010 15:39
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:31
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1475-2875
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2875-9-357
PubMed ID:21143906
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-40978

Download

[img]
Preview
Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 1MB
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations