Thursday, April 16, 2015

UK:Almost 1,000 Personnel Required Psychiatric Treatment After Taking Lariam

Almost 1,000 members of Armed Forces require psychiatric treatment after being given anti-Malaria drug linked to mental health problems
Daily Mail
15 April 2015

Almost 1,000 personnel required psychiatric treatment after taking drug
They were prescribed anti-malarial drug Lariam by the Ministry of Defence
The discredited product's side effects include psychosis and hallucinations
Retired Major General Alastair Duncan is currently in a psychiatric unit
He was prescribed the drug prior to a deployment in Sierra Leone

A retired major general is among 1,000 British service personnel requiring psychiatric treatment after taking an anti-malarial drug issued by the Ministry of Defence.

New figures released by the MoD show that since 2008, 994 personnel have been treated for mental health issues after having been prescribed Lariam.

Despite Lariam - the brand name for the drug mefloquine - being banned by the U.S. military due to concerns over side effects, the MoD has ignored appeals to stop prescribing it in what critics say is an escalating 'scandal'.
Major-General Alastair Duncan (pictured) is currently in a psychiatric unit after having been given the drug prior to a deployment in Sierra Leone

According to The Independent's Jonathan Owen, retired Major General Alastair Duncan is currently in a psychiatric unit following a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder episode four months ago.

Maj-Gen Duncan was given the drug Lariam before a deployment to Sierra Leone.

read more here

We did know about this, but they just stopped talking about it.

Links to medications suspected with non-combat deaths
April 27, 2004 DoD, VA to study malaria drug’s side effects Associated Press

The Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs will study the side effects of Lariam, a drug given to servicemen to prevent malaria, Pentagon spokesman Jim Turner said.

The use of Lariam came up in investigations of murders and murder-suicides involving Fort Bragg soldiers in the summer of 2002, when four soldiers were accused of killing their wives. Two of those soldiers committed suicide immediately and a third killed himself in jail.

The three soldiers who killed themselves had served in Afghanistan, where Lariam is routinely used by U.S. troops. The fourth, who is still awaiting trial, did not serve there.

A November 2002 report by the office of the Army Surgeon General said two of the four soldiers had taken Lariam, but the Army would not say which. The report said Lariam probably did not factor in the killings.

Turner said a subcommittee of the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board met two weeks ago to consider ways to study the use of Lariam among service members. A Veterans Affairs spokeswoman said the VA will review the issue but has not issued a report on the study.

Lariam, which is also known as mefloquine, is routinely prescribed to soldiers working in countries where malaria is a problem. Some people have blamed it for causing psychotic reactions, including depression, hallucinations and thoughts of suicide.

Doctor: Anti-malarial drug may be harmful
Army Times

In the past six weeks, Dr. Michael Hoffer has treated nine service members who returned from Iraq or Afghanistan unable to walk a straight line or stand still without staggering. Some said objects appeared to spin around them for more than an hour at a time.

A Navy commander and director of the Department of Defense Spatial Orientation Center at Naval Medical Center, San Diego, Hoffer believes the problems are linked to a drug called Lariam "known generically as mefloquine" that the military gives to troops to prevent malaria.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has urged the Pentagon to set a timeline for a Defense Department study, announced in March, of negative effects from Lariam and other anti-malarial drugs.

And then there were more

VA Warns Doctors About Lariam, United Press International, 25 June 2004

And even more on Wounded Times for Lariam


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