September 19, 2013
In 2004, the VA issued a warning. "The drug is mefloquine, known by the brand name Lariam, which has been given to tens of thousands of soldiers since the war on terrorism began. Some of those soldiers say it has provoked severe mental and physical problems including suicidal and violent behavior, psychosis, convulsions and balance disorders."
In 2009 Spc. Adam Kuligowski's problems began because he couldn't sleep. The "21-year-old soldier was working six days a week, analyzing intelligence that the military gathered while he was serving in Afghanistan. He was gifted at his job and loved being a part of the 101st Airborne Division, just like his father and his great uncle. But Adam was tired and often late for work. His eyes were glassy and he was falling asleep while on duty. His room was messy and his uniform was dirty. His father, Mike Kuligowski, attributes his son's sleeplessness and depression to an anti-malarial medication called mefloquine that was found in his system. In rare cases, it can cause psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety, paranoia, depression, hallucination and psychotic behavior." That report came out in 2010.
By 2011 "dramatic about-face follows years of complaints and concerns that mefloquine caused psychiatric and physical side effects even as it was used around the globe as a front-line defense against the mosquito-borne disease that kills about 800,000 people a year. "Mefloquine is a zombie drug. It's dangerous, and it should have been killed off years ago," said Dr. Remington Nevin, an epidemiologist and Army major who has published research that he said showed the drug can be potentially toxic to the brain. He believes the drop in prescriptions is a tacit acknowledgment of the drug's serious problems."
In 2012 "Mefloquine, also called Lariam, has severe psychiatric side effects. Problems include psychotic behavior, paranoia and hallucinations. The drug has been implicated in numerous suicides and homicides, including deaths in the U.S. military. For years the military has used the weekly pill to help prevent malaria among deployed troops."
I can do this all day but the military just decided to stop giving it to Green Berets and other Special Forces. "Quoting the FDA’s July safety warning, the Surgeon General’s Office of the Army Special Operations Command sent a message to commanders and medical personnel last Friday ordering a halt in prescribing mefloquine for malaria prevention for the approximately 25,000 Green Berets, Rangers, Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations soldiers, command spokesman Lt. Col. Dave Connolly said."
They can pretend all they want that they didn't know what was going on before but the results have been deadly.
Green Berets, other elite Army forces ordered to stop taking anti-malarial drug mefloquine
By Associated Press
Thursday, September 19, 2013
WASHINGTON — The top doctor for Green Berets and other elite Army commandos has told troops to immediately stop taking mefloquine, an anti-malaria drug found to cause permanent brain damage in rare cases.
The ban among special operations forces is the latest development in a long-running controversy over mefloquine. The drug was developed by the Army in the 1970s and has been taken by millions of travelers and people in the military over the years. As alternatives were developed, it fell out of favor as the front-line defense against malaria, a mosquito-borne disease that international health officials say kills roughly 600,000 people a year.
The new prohibition among special operations forces follows a July 29 safety announcement by the Food and Drug Administration that it had strengthened warnings about neurologic side effects associated with the drug. The FDA added a boxed warning to the drug label, the most serious kind of warning, saying neurologic side effects like dizziness, loss of balance and ringing in the ears may become permanent.
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