Mefloquine or Medusa and where is Perseus?
Veterans allege devastating side effects from anti-malaria drug they were ordered to take
WHAS ABC 11 News
Author: Andrea McCarren
May 3, 2018
More than a million Americans are believed to have taken the anti-malaria drug called mefloquine. But veterans, former Peace Corps volunteers, government employees and world travelers say they've suffered acute side effects that are getting progressively worse.
For decades, the Department of Defense ordered tens of thousands of American service members to take a drug intended to prevent malaria, a mosquito-borne disease that can kill. And now, veterans, former Peace Corps volunteers, federal employees and world travelers believe mefloquine caused some acute psychiatric and physical conditions that they say are getting progressively worse.
Mefloquine was sold under the brand name Lariam until its manufacturer stopped producing the drug in 2008. Generic versions are still available in the United States, but only by prescription. Common side effects attributed to the drug include paranoia, anxiety, depression and neurological issues, including vertigo and tinnitus, which is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears.
"We have a hidden epidemic of veterans who are suffering the chronic neuropsychiatric effects of mefloquine poisoning," said Dr. Remington Nevin, widely considered the world's expert in the potential side effects of mefloquine. "And in many cases, they’re being misdiagnosed. Misdiagnosed with conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder."
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We have been reading about this since 2008. Why are we still reading about it now?
VA issued a warning about Lariam in 2004. By 2012 after Staff Sgt. Robert Bales shot 17 in Afghanistan, later found guilty, the military "scrambled" to limit it. By 2013, the Green Berets and other Special Forces units stopped using it.
BY 2015, reports were coming out from Australia and a veteran said, "At various times it was like living in a heavily armed lunatic asylum" after taking it. In 2017, Canada was also faced with problems.
So why after all these years are we still talking about it and who is responsible for what it did to the men and women the military gave it to?