What is the role of mefloquine hydrochloride for the treatment of malaria?

Updated: Apr 26, 2019
  • Author: Thomas E Herchline, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

In July 2013, the FDA updated its warning about mefloquine hydrochloride to include neurologic side effects, along with the already known risk of adverse psychiatric events such as anxiety, confusion, paranoia, and depression. The information, which is included in the patient medication guide and in a new boxed warning on the label, cautions that vestibular symptoms, which include dizziness, loss of balance, vertigo, and tinnitus, can occur. [35, 36]

The FDA also warns that vestibular side effects can persist long after treatment has ended and may become permanent. In addition, clinicians are warned against prophylactic mefloquine use in patients with major psychiatric disorders and are further cautioned that if psychiatric or neurologic symptoms arise while the drug is being used prophylactically, it should be replaced with another medication.


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