Feature Story (2012) – Anti-Malaria Drug Giving Canadian Soldiers Brain Damage

Here is a 2012 story on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) News highlighting the adverse health effects of mefloquine among Canadian Forces soldiers and veterans. This appears to be a classic case of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) misdiagnosis or comorbidity in a veteran with chronic mefloquine toxicity.

Also see the below UPI story from around the same time as the CBC television news report.


UPI, Canadian troops get malaria drug U.S. quit, 12 April 2012

OTTAWA, April 12 (UPI) — Some Canadian veterans are questioning why troops are still being given an anti-malarial drug the U.S. military abandoned because of potential mental illness.

The drug marketed as Lariam is known generically as mefloquine and was dropped by U.S. forces in 2009 after a U.S. defense memo warned of potentially serious side effects, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

“Mefloquine may cause psychiatric symptoms … ranging from anxiety, paranoia and depression to hallucinations and psychotic behavior … long after mefloquine has been stopped,” the memo said.

Regardless, Canada still gives its soldiers the drug in malaria-prone regions around the world based on advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada, which maintains the drug is “generally well tolerated,” the report said.

Retired Cpl. Donald Hookey of Newfoundland told the broadcaster he and his family see differences in him six years after he served in Afghanistan and he’s no longer convinced the nightmares and rage are solely because of post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I don’t think that I can honestly say that I’ve felt normal since I’ve been back,” he said.

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About IMVAlliance.org

An international network of military veterans, families and friends affected by the health impacts of the neurotoxic antimalarial drug, mefloquine.
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