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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1988;82(4):524-9.

Tolerability of long-term malaria prophylaxis with the combination mefloquine + sulfadoxine + pyrimethamine (Fansimef): results of a double blind field trial versus chloroquine in Nigeria.

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Institute of Specific Prophylaxis and Tropical Medicine, University of Vienna, Austria.


A randomized double blind study in long term malaria chemoprophylaxis was performed to compare the tolerability of Fansimef (1 tablet containing 250 mg mefloquine + 500 mg sulfadoxine + 25 mg pyrimethamine per week) with chloroquine (300 mg per week). 211 Austrian industrial workers and their families in Warri, Nigeria, participated in this study; 101 received Fansimef and 110 chloroquine for 3-18 months (mean 41 weeks). Prophylaxis was discontinued because of adverse effects in 7 volunteers in the Fansimef group (mainly insomnia, palpitations, dizziness, nausea and headache) and in 2 volunteers of the chloroquine group (headache and loss of hair in one volunteer, nausea, dizziness and vomiting in the other). Most of the adverse effects could be due to the mefloquine component. A few minor complaints of burning eyes, nausea and gastric pain were reported in both groups. Laboratory checks performed at 3-monthly intervals showed a slight, transient and clinically irrelevant (but statistically significant) increase of serum glutamic-oxalacetic transaminase and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase at month 3 in the Fansimef group. An attack of acute Plasmodium falciparum malaria occurred in one volunteer 6 weeks after discontinuation of prophylaxis with Fansimef. Antibodies against blood stage parasites could be demonstrated by the indirect immunofluorescence test at different stages of the study, indicating that these two antimalarials are not causal prophylactic agents.

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