Dr. Remington Nevin and the Lariam Organization in the United States have been working tirelessly to bring attention to the toxic adverse effects associated with the anti-malaria drug, Mefloquine (Lariam). Thanks to their persistence, U.S. Veterans Affairs is now acknowledging the problem and offering assistance to American veterans suffering long-term effects. What is it going to take for Veterans Affairs Canada and DND to step up and recognize their responsibility in causing the suffering of many Canadian soldiers and vets who were given mefloquine during deployments to Somalia, the Gulf War, Rwanda, Cambodia, and Afghanistan? What you see below is copied from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website. BONNIE
|Mefloquine (brand name: Lariam®) is a drug that has been given to military personnel, including those serving in Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, for protection against malaria. Malaria is an infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes. Mefloquine is also used for travelers visiting areas where malaria is found, based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mefloquine was approved by the FDAin May 1989.If you are concerned about mefloquine use or long-term side effects from taking mefloquine, talk to your health care provider or local VA Environmental Health Coordinator.
Mefloquine side effects
Most people who take mefloquine do not experience side effects. For those who do, symptoms are usually mild and do not last long because the drug quickly leaves the body after the medication is stopped. People with liver problems, or those who drink alcohol or take medications that affect the liver, may take longer to eliminate mefloquine.
Occasionally, mefloquine may cause more serious side effects. Examples include psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety, paranoia, depression, mood changes, hallucinations, agitation, and unusual behavior. Other uncommon side effects may include muscle weakness, irregular heartbeat, and lung problems such as pneumonitis (inflammation of lung tissue). Rare cases of suicidal thoughts have been reported.
If you are concerned about mefloquine use or long-term side effects from taking mefloquine, talk to your health care provider or local VA Environmental Health Coordinator. Veterans not enrolled in the VA health care system, find out if you qualify for VA health care.
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