A Cross-sectional Cohort Study to Assess Long-term Neurocognitive and Psychiatric Symptoms of Mefloquine Use in Veterans

Mil Med. 2022 Apr 21;usac104. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usac104. Online ahead of print.


Introduction: To evaluate the associations between neurocognitive and psychiatric health outcomes with mefloquine or any antimalarial exposure.

Materials and methods: Medical records were systematically reviewed to identify veterans that indicated antimalarial medication use. Linear regression was performed to examine associations between mefloquine/antimalarial exposure and health outcomes. The mefloquine-exposed group was further compared with normative populations for the same health outcomes.

Results: In the adjusted models, no significant differences were noted between the two exposure groups and the unexposed group for any of the health measures (P-value > 0.05). When compared to normative population samples, the mefloquine-exposed group had poorer health and greater neurobehavioral symptom severity or cognitive complaints.

Conclusion: This study suggests that mefloquine use by veterans referred for intensive evaluation of their military deployment exposures and health was not associated with increased, long-term, neurocognitive/psychiatric symptoms compared to unexposed veterans.