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Signal detection to identify serious adverse events (neuropsychiatric events) in travelers taking mefloquine for chemoprophylaxis of malaria

Authors Naing C, Aung, Syed, Mak

Received 31 May 2012

Accepted for publication 29 June 2012

Published 3 August 2012 Volume 2012:4 Pages 87—92

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DHPS.S34493

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Cho Naing,1,3 Kyan Aung,1 Syed Imran Ahmed,2 Joon Wah Mak3

1School of Medical Sciences, 2School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, 3School of Postgraduate Studies and Research, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Background: For all medications, there is a trade-off between benefits and potential for harm. It is important for patient safety to detect drug-event combinations and analyze by appropriate statistical methods. Mefloquine is used as chemoprophylaxis for travelers going to regions with known chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria. As such, there is a concern about serious adverse events associated with mefloquine chemoprophylaxis. The objective of the present study was to assess whether any signal would be detected for the serious adverse events of mefloquine, based on data in clinicoepidemiological studies.
Materials and methods: We extracted data on adverse events related to mefloquine chemoprophylaxis from the two published datasets. Disproportionality reporting of adverse events such as neuropsychiatric events and other adverse events was presented in the 2 × 2 contingency table. Reporting odds ratio and corresponding 95% confidence interval [CI] data-mining algorithm was applied for the signal detection. The safety signals are considered significant when the ROR estimates and the lower limits of the corresponding 95% CI are ≥2.
Results: Two datasets addressing adverse events of mefloquine chemoprophylaxis (one from a published article and one from a Cochrane systematic review) were included for analyses. Reporting odds ratio 1.58, 95% CI: 1.49–1.68 based on published data in the selected article, and 1.195, 95% CI: 0.94–1.44 based on data in the selected Cochrane review. Overall, in both datasets, the reporting odds ratio values of lower 95% CI were less than 2.
Conclusion: Based on available data, findings suggested that signals for serious adverse events pertinent to neuropsychiatric event were not detected for mefloquine. Further studies are needed to substantiate this.

Keywords: mefloquine, signal detection, reporting odds ratio, neuropsychiatric events

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