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Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2002 Sep;72(3):294-301.

Atovaquone plus chloroguanide versus mefloquine for malaria prophylaxis: a focus on neuropsychiatric adverse events.

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  • 1Pharmaco-epidemiology Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



We performed a prospective, double-blind, randomized study to compare the occurrence of neuropsychiatric adverse events and concentration impairment during prophylactic use of either mefloquine or atovaquone plus chloroguanide (INN, proguanil).


Our potential study population consisted of all persons who were included in the MAL30010 trial at the Travel Clinic, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. All subjects were randomized to receive either active atovaquone (250 mg) plus chloroguanide (100 mg) daily plus a placebo for mefloquine weekly or active mefloquine (250 mg) weekly plus a placebo for atovaquone plus chloroguanide daily. Each subject was followed up from a baseline screening visit up to the index date, 7 days after he or she left the malaria-endemic area. We measured the interindividual and intraindividual changes in mood disturbance by means of the Dutch shortened Profile of Mood States and 3 domains of the Neurobehavioral Evaluation System, which included sustained attention, coding speed, and visuomotor accuracy between baseline and follow-up visit.


The cohort consisted of 119 subjects with a mean age of 35 years. A significant deterioration in depression, anger, fatigue, vigor, and total mood disturbance domains occurred during use of mefloquine but not during use of atovaquone plus chloroguanide. Stratification for sex showed between-treatment differences in female patients but not in male patients. In both treatment groups, sustained attention deteriorated after travel, especially with increased duration of stay.


Prophylactic use of mefloquine was associated with significantly higher scores on scales for depression, anger, and fatigue and lower scores for vigor than prophylactic use of atovaquone plus chloroguanide.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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