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Clin Infect Dis. 2001 Oct 1;33(7):1015-21. Epub 2001 Sep 5.

Atovaquone-proguanil versus mefloquine for malaria prophylaxis in nonimmune travelers: results from a randomized, double-blind study.

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Harbor Hospital and Institute of Tropical Medicine, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Concerns about the tolerability of mefloquine highlight the need for new drugs to prevent malaria. Atovaquone-proguanil (Malarone; GlaxoSmithKline) was safe and effective for prevention of falciparum malaria in lifelong residents of malaria-endemic countries, but experience in nonimmune people is limited. In a randomized, double-blind study, nonimmune travelers received malaria prophylaxis with atovaquone-proguanil (493 subjects) or mefloquine (483 subjects). Information about adverse events (AEs) and potential episodes of malaria was obtained 7, 28, and 60 days after travel. AEs were reported by an equivalent proportion of subjects who had received atovaquone-proguanil or mefloquine (71.4% versus 67.3%; difference, 4.1%; 95% confidence interval, -1.71 to 9.9). Subjects who received atovaquone-proguanil had fewer treatment-related neuropsychiatric AEs (14% versus 29%; P=.001), fewer AEs of moderate or severe intensity (10% versus 19%; P=.001), and fewer AEs that caused prophylaxis to be discontinued (1.2% versus 5.0%; P=.001), compared with subjects who received melfoquine. No confirmed diagnoses of malaria occurred in either group. Atovaquone-proguanil was better tolerated than was mefloquine, and it was similarly effective for malaria prophylaxis in nonimmune travelers.

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