Question - The most common adverse effects of the anti-malarial mefloquine (MQ) are gastrointestinal and neurological. How often does severe central nervous system toxicity manifest in persons taking this drug and what are the risk factors for the development of adverse neuro-psychiatric effects associated with mefloquine?
Answer - The cited article reports “Severe central nervous (CNS) system side effects occur in about 1:10,000 travellers taking MQ as chemoprophylaxis. Risk factors reported to be associated with MQ-induced neuro-psychiatric adverse events include a previous history of psychiatric problems, female gender, low body mass index (BMI) and first-time use of the drug.” (Gonzalez R et al. Mefloquine safety and tolerability in pregnancy: a systematic literature review. 2014 Malaria Journal 13:75-85)