Date of this Version
Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 76(2), 2007, pp. 224–231
Mefloquine (MQ) single dose 20 mg/kg treatment of falciparum malaria was evaluated in 186 children of 6–24 months of age in northern Ghana. There were 15 RII/RIII-type parasitologic failures, all with Day 2 MQ blood levels significantly lower than children whose parasitemias cleared before Day 7 and remained clear through 28 days. Predictors of RII/RIII parasitologic response were vomiting after MQ dosing, Day 2 MQ levels < 500 ng/mL, and undetectable Day 2 levels of the carboxymefloquine metabolite. There were 50 cases of delayed RI parasitologic failure, but 71% of these cases had undetectable Day 28 blood levels of MQ and drug levels in the remaining 29% ranged below the 620 ng/mL level that suppresses MQ sensitive strains of P. falciparum. Drug levels among infants that tolerated MQ well were not associated with age, weight, hemoglobin, parasitemia, and pre-existing symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea. An observed recurrent parasitemia of 34,400 trophozoites/L against a MQ blood concentration of 550 ng/mL was taken as indication of tolerance to suppressive levels of the drug at this location.