Tolerability of prophylactic Lariam regimens

Trop Med Parasitol. 1993 Sep;44(3):257-65.


Three hundred and fifty-nine US Marines participated in a randomized double-blind clinical trial to assess tolerance of two prophylactic mefloquine regimens [250 mg salt weekly (n = 157) or 250 mg daily for 3 days followed by 250 mg weekly (n = 46)] compared with 300 mg weekly chloroquine (n = 156) over a 12-week period. The study participants were seen daily for four days, then weekly for 11 weeks. On each visit, the subject answered two computerized questionnaires (a review of body systems and an evaluation of mood states), participated in a physician interview, and was administered medications under supervision. A random sample of each group was assigned to either pharmacokinetic sampling or two wear a wrist watch size computerized sleep monitor (actigraph). The frequencies of intercurrent illness and other concomitant medications were tabulated. End study mefloquine plasma levels were obtained on all study participants. The results obtained showed no compromise in function due to dizziness or incoordination in the mefloquine groups. Overall, both weekly mefloquine and loading dose mefloquine were well tolerated. Sleep disturbance and increased dream activity were detected in the mefloquine groups. Depressive feelings were noted in two to three times more individuals in the mefloquine groups than in the chloroquine group early in the course of the study, and resolved in the majority of subjects as tolerance developed. Steady state mefloquine plasma levels were attained rapidly with the loading dose regimen in four days versus seven weeks with weekly mefloquine.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anorexia / chemically induced
  • Chloroquine / adverse effects
  • Chloroquine / therapeutic use
  • Depression / chemically induced
  • Dizziness / chemically induced
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Dreams / drug effects
  • Drug Tolerance
  • Eye / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Irritable Mood / drug effects
  • Malaria, Falciparum / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Mefloquine / adverse effects*
  • Mefloquine / pharmacokinetics
  • Mefloquine / therapeutic use
  • Military Personnel
  • Nausea / chemically induced
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects
  • Sleep / drug effects
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / chemically induced
  • Travel
  • United States


  • Chloroquine
  • Mefloquine