Mefloquine at the crossroads? Implications for malaria chemoprophylaxis in Europe

Schlagenhauf, Patricia; Hatz, Christoph; Behrens, Ron; Visser, Leo; Funk, Maia; Holzer, Benedikt; Beck, Bernhard; Bourquin, Cathérine; Etter, Hermann; Furrer, Hansjakob; Genton, Blaise; Landry, Pierre; Chappuis, Francois; Loutan, Louis; Stössel, Ulrich; Jeschko, Eva; Rossanese, Andrea; Nothdurft, Hans Dieter (2015). Mefloquine at the crossroads? Implications for malaria chemoprophylaxis in Europe. Travel medicine and infectious disease, 13(2), pp. 192-196. Elsevier 10.1016/j.tmaid.2015.03.010

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Since its introduction to the market in 1985, mefloquine has been used for malaria chemoprophylaxis by more than 35 million travellers. In Europe, in 2014, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) issued recommendations on strengthened warnings, prescribing checklists and updates to the product information of mefloquine. Some malaria prevention advisors question the scientific basis for the restrictions and suggest that this cost-effective, anti-malarial drug will be displaced as a first-line anti-malaria medication with the result that vulnerable groups such as VFR and long-term travellers, pregnant travellers and young children are left without a suitable alternative chemoprophylaxis. This commentary looks at the current position of mefloquine prescribing and the rationale of the new EMA recommendations and restrictions. It also describes the new recommendations for malaria prophylaxis that have been adapted by Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Italy where chemoprophylaxis use is restricted to high-risk malaria-endemic areas.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Clinic of Infectiology

UniBE Contributor:

Furrer, Hansjakob


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Annelies Luginbühl

Date Deposited:

27 May 2015 14:43

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:45

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Mefloquine; European Medicines Agency; Adverse events; Malaria prophylaxis




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