Feinstein: “Service members continue to receive drug linked to permanent brain damage”

By: Sunday August 21, 2011 6:45 am

Senator Dianne Feinstein put out a press release indicating that the Department of Defense should consider taking the anti-malarial drug mefloquine, also known as Lariam, out of the DoD drug formulary as it is too dangerous.

Feinstein also indicated the drug has been administered to military personnel without the safeguards put in place by a 2009 Department of Defense protocol. Moreover, according to the press release, “These service members are now suffering from… preventable neurological side effects….”

And what “preventable neurological side effects” were these?

 

Exposé: Gitmo Detainees Mass Recipients of Controversial Drug

By: Wednesday December 1, 2010 6:40 pm

Jason Leopold and I have written an investigatory report for Truthout on the mass administration of the controversial antimalarial drug mefloquine (brand name Lariam) to all Guantanamo detainees through 2005. The drug was applied without regard to whether or not a detainee had malaria, and despite the fact there was no malaria in Guantanamo.

Mefloquine has been a controversial drug since it received FDA approval in 1989, as evidence grows regarding its neurotoxicity and propensity to cause very serious neuropsychiatric side effects. “Adverse events” associated with mefloquine include depression, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, intense rage, hallucinations and anxiety. An Army public health physician told us that use of the drug was akin to “pharmacologic waterboarding.”

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