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Soldiers still suffering serious mental illness linked to controversial anti-malarial drug Lariam

Post by Riddick on Thu 09 Jul 2015, 12:10

I spent months in Africa at a time from 1989 to 1996. I had to take anti-malaria pills. Mefloquine (Lariam) sounds awful familiar....can anyone confirm this?

Thanks
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Re: Mefloquine / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by tfmm on Thu 09 Jul 2015, 15:04

Using an iPad and can't seem to copy or read the full link...
www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/asps?DocId=1039806

Nov 99, Brigadier-General Claude Auger states the conditions under which the drug was used.

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Re: Mefloquine / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by tfmm on Thu 09 Jul 2015, 15:07

Oops....

www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=1039806

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Re: Mefloquine / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by tfmm on Thu 09 Jul 2015, 15:13

I'm curious.
How many vets here have auto-immune disorders that they did not have prior to vaccinations?
Psoriasis, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory conditions, etc., or co-morbid cardiovascular conditions?

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Re: Mefloquine / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Ex Member on Thu 09 Jul 2015, 15:52

Spouse diagnosed with chronic severe neutropenia which was concurrent with his Bosnia tour.

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Re: Mefloquine / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by johnny211 on Thu 09 Jul 2015, 16:49

Does anyone know when they started using them? I did Damascus/Golan 79-80, took a few things, and cannot remember if that was one? VVV...
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Re: Mefloquine / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by tfmm on Sun 12 Jul 2015, 13:18

*Not an expert. Just someone researching, looking for answers*

Statistics vary marginally depending on which study you look at.
It's generally accepted that 10% of the population is genetically vulnerable to an autoimmune disorder, with 1-2% actually acquiring. (The ones I've looked into so far)

One way to acquire an autoimmune disorder is via vaccination.

Vaccines are commonly formulated with adjuvants. Adjuvants are suspensions with molecules that bind to antigens to induce a robust immune response with less antigen used.
When the antigen/adjuvant complex has been metabolized and memory cells formed, enzymes destroy the excess (and random mutation) immune cells being produced and the chemical signalling stops.

Ideally.

Problems arise:
- with individuals genetically predisposed via impairment or lack of specific enzymes, perpetuating the immune response.
- with vaccine overload (multiple vaccines at once), suppressing the immune response.
-with toxic adjuvants.
-with contaminants.
-with concurrent infection.

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Re: Mefloquine / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Riddick on Wed 15 Jul 2015, 17:42

A question posted to the MVA on Facebook a few days ago as to how he plans on supporting veterans who had to take this drug....... hmmmm no reply or answer was given (as of yet)

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Re: Mefloquine / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Ex Member on Thu 16 Jul 2015, 15:43

If the government owns up to this I'd be shocked. They will pay 20 million dollars to have some scientists say there's no harmful affects.

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Re: Mefloquine / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Ex Member on Thu 16 Jul 2015, 15:44

There's traces of that shit in me....guaranteed.

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Re: Mefloquine / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Riddick on Thu 16 Jul 2015, 16:39

Lol....yes I can see that....spend millions to discredit the veterans.......it must be be.....all in our heads.

Of course they will try to pretend it has had no negative effects. Typical of the government.

I am not looking for conspiracies but the government is notorious for not owning up and being accountable. The government hates transparencies (look at the the slimy Senate) can't put anything past them. They will not step up to the plate willingly.

It will take time, but eventually there will be enough exposure via the veteran community/media and they will have to deal with it....and it will probably be more expense to fix it then.

Then they will say there is no correlation between mental illness and a drug already proven to be very harmful to the human brain.

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Re: Mefloquine / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Guest on Thu 16 Jul 2015, 20:00

oh ive taken that I thought it was great . coudnt get to the movies on tour but all I needed was a nap and then WOW. what a show I was in for. no one on the planet has the imagination to wright a novel as fracked up as the dreams I was having .

seriously if ya suffer from boredom and have a strong stomach you really ought to try this stuff lol.

propat

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B.C. military veteran calls for federal apology for controversial anti-malaria drug

Post by Trooper on Fri 29 Jan 2016, 10:43

OTTAWA — A B.C. veteran says Canada should follow the United Kingdom’s recent lead and apologize for recklessly handing out an anti-malaria drug that has been described as being “the worse form of friendly fire.”

In an appearance this month before a parliamentary committee probing alleged misuse of Mefloquine, a British minister acknowledged that the MPs had heard considerable testimony about soldiers suffering crippling long-term neurological and psychiatric problems after taking the drug.

“I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to any former or current service personnel affected,” said Mark Lancaster, the parliamentary undersecretary of state and minister for defence personnel and veterans.

The apology was music to the ears to Canadian veterans and those who have advocated on their behalf since the federal government began dispensing Mefloquine to paratroopers during the ill-fated 1992-93 mission to Somalia.

“It’s about time that some government, somewhere, finally stepped up and admitted there was a problem with this drug,” said former B.C. Conservative leader John Cummins, who as a rookie MP in the early 1990s was among the first to raise alarm bells about the drug’s impact on some soldiers.

Cummins was among several critics who alleged that Mefloquine, which is still prescribed to soldiers and which can cause nightmares, depression, suicidal thoughts, and psychotic episodes, was behind the torture and murder of a Somalian teenager by two members of the Canadian Airborne Regiment in 1993.

Both Cummins and B.C. veteran Hervey Blois, who was on the Somalia mission as a medic but wasn’t involved in Shidane Arone’s murder, say Ottawa should apologize for the way it has dispensed the drug to military personnel.

In a letter last month to Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, the MP for Vancouver South, and Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr, Blois said he suffers from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

While he lives on a disability benefit and receives government-funded counselling, he told The Sun in a recent interview that what’s missing is an acknowledgment that the Canadian government shouldn’t have used he and other soldiers as human “guinea pigs.”

He was referring to the conclusions of an Auditor General of Canada report in 1999, which said Mefloquine was not a licensed drug in Canada during the Somalia mission, and that soldiers were given the drug without their “informed consent” as part of a clinical trial.

“I just want an apology,” Blois said.

While Blois only wants a symbolic gesture, other veterans want Canada to end its use of Mefloquine.

The percentage of Canadian military personnel overseas who take Mefloquine while in malaria zones has fallen to just five per cent due to concern about side-effects.

But even that total is too high, according to John Dowe, a Mississauga-based veteran of the airborne regiment who runs an international social media network for veterans concerned about the drug.

He said Ottawa is “lowballing” the risks and called on the Trudeau government to stop issuing Mefloquine completely.

His group also wants Veterans Affairs Canada to aggressively reach out to past and current Mefloquine users to determine if their post-traumatic stress disorder or other health issues might be related to the drug.

Their final request is that Ottawa call a public inquiry into military’s use of the drug dating back to the Somalia tragedy.

One of the leading authorities on government misuse of Mefloquine, Dr. Remington Nevin, said Canada is mishandling the drug and should heed calls to remove the drug from its list of those authorized for use by soldiers in malaria zones.

Nevin is a former U.S. army major who specializes on antimalarial drug toxicity at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

He said Canadian soldiers use the drug at five times the rate of their U.S. counterparts. Among American special forces, it is banned.

Nevin also said warnings on packages given Canadian soldiers are outdated. In the U.S. users, according to a document sent to pharmacists dated February 2015, are told that psychiatric effects can last “years,” and neurological effects can become “permanent.”

In Canada, according to a product information document given to pharmacists that’s dated May 27, 2010, these side-effects are said to only last for weeks in the case of psychiatric issues, and months for neurological issues like vertigo.

That position that side effects aren’t permanent was also taken in a statement to The Sun this week from the Canadian military’s public affairs department.

“The side effects are usually mild and self-limiting, (e.g., nausea, strange dreams, dizziness, mood changes, insomnia, headaches and diarrhea). Few (one to four per cent) of users will discontinue the drug because of side effects.”

The statement also noted that the military’s decision to use the drug is supported by recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada, the World Health Organization, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nevin said the lack of information on possible permanent effects demonstrates that Canada is operating on out-dated information.

“I question whether Canadian Forces personnel are being properly informed of the drug’s risks, and therefore whether they are making a fully informed decision,” Nevin told The Sun.

Vancouver psychiatrist Dr. Greg Passey, who took Mefloquine while on the Rwanda peacekeeping mission during the 1994 genocide, said he suffered no long-term negative effects.

But he agreed with Blois that the Trudeau government should follow Britain’s lead, given the growing body of research showing a link between the drug and long-term depression, suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I believe Canada should follow the same source of action — that the government be responsible and accountable for its actions,” said Dr. Passey, who treats PTSD victims within the Canadian military and RCMP at the B.C. Operational Stress Injury Clinic.

poneil@postmedia.comTwitter:@poneilinottawa

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/military+veteran+calls+federal+apology+controversial/11683420/story.html
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Military veteran calls for federal apology for controversial anti-malaria drug Mefloquine

Post by Ex Member on Sun 31 Jan 2016, 04:30

http://www.vancouversun.com/health/military+veteran+calls+federal+apology+controversial+anti/11683420/story.html


Mental state of some paratroops on ill-fated Somalia mission may have been affected by Mefloquine, advocates say


OTTAWA — A B.C. veteran says Canada should follow the United Kingdom’s recent lead and apologize for recklessly handing out an anti-malaria drug that has been described as being “the worse form of friendly fire.”

In an appearance this month before a parliamentary committee probing alleged misuse of Mefloquine, a British minister acknowledged that the MPs had heard considerable testimony about soldiers suffering crippling long-term neurological and psychiatric problems after taking the drug.

“I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to any former or current service personnel affected,” said Mark Lancaster, the parliamentary undersecretary of state and minister for defence personnel and veterans.

The apology was music to the ears to Canadian veterans and those who have advocated on their behalf since the federal government began dispensing Mefloquine to paratroopers during the ill-fated 1992-93 mission to Somalia.

“It’s about time that some government, somewhere, finally stepped up and admitted there was a problem with this drug,” said former B.C. Conservative leader John Cummins, who as a rookie MP in the early 1990s was among the first to raise alarm bells about the drug’s impact on some soldiers.

Cummins was among several critics who alleged that Mefloquine, which is still prescribed to soldiers and which can cause nightmares, depression, suicidal thoughts, and psychotic episodes, was behind the torture and murder of a Somalian teenager by two members of the Canadian Airborne Regiment in 1993.

Both Cummins and B.C. veteran Hervey Blois, who was on the Somalia mission as a medic but wasn’t involved in Shidane Arone’s murder, say Ottawa should apologize for the way it has dispensed the drug to military personnel.

In a letter last month to Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, the MP for Vancouver South, and Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr, Blois said he suffers from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

While he lives on a disability benefit and receives government-funded counselling, he told The Sun in a recent interview that what’s missing is an acknowledgment that the Canadian government shouldn’t have used he and other soldiers as human “guinea pigs.”

He was referring to the conclusions of an Auditor General of Canada report in 1999, which said Mefloquine was not a licensed drug in Canada during the Somalia mission, and that soldiers were given the drug without their “informed consent” as part of a clinical trial.

“I just want an apology,” Blois said.

While Blois only wants a symbolic gesture, other veterans want Canada to end its use of Mefloquine.

The percentage of Canadian military personnel overseas who take Mefloquine while in malaria zones has fallen to just five per cent due to concern about side-effects.

But even that total is too high, according to John Dowe, a Mississauga-based veteran of the airborne regiment who runs an international social media network for veterans concerned about the drug.

He said Ottawa is “lowballing” the risks and called on the Trudeau government to stop issuing Mefloquine completely.

His group also wants Veterans Affairs Canada to aggressively reach out to past and current Mefloquine users to determine if their post-traumatic stress disorder or other health issues might be related to the drug.

Their final request is that Ottawa call a public inquiry into military’s use of the drug dating back to the Somalia tragedy.


One of the leading authorities on government misuse of Mefloquine, Dr. Remington Nevin, said Canada is mishandling the drug and should heed calls to remove the drug from its list of those authorized for use by soldiers in malaria zones.

Nevin is a former U.S. army major who specializes on antimalarial drug toxicity at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

He said Canadian soldiers use the drug at five times the rate of their U.S. counterparts. Among American special forces, it is banned.

Nevin also said warnings on packages given Canadian soldiers are outdated. In the U.S. users, according to a document sent to pharmacists dated February 2015, are told that psychiatric effects can last “years,” and neurological effects can become “permanent.”

In Canada, according to a product information document given to pharmacists that’s dated May 27, 2010, these side-effects are said to only last for weeks in the case of psychiatric issues, and months for neurological issues like vertigo.

That position that side effects aren’t permanent was also taken in a statement to The Sun this week from the Canadian military’s public affairs department.

“The side effects are usually mild and self-limiting, (e.g., nausea, strange dreams, dizziness, mood changes, insomnia, headaches and diarrhea). Few (one to four per cent) of users will discontinue the drug because of side effects.”

The statement also noted that the military’s decision to use the drug is supported by recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada, the World Health Organization, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nevin said the lack of information on possible permanent effects demonstrates that Canada is operating on out-dated information.

“I question whether Canadian Forces personnel are being properly informed of the drug’s risks, and therefore whether they are making a fully informed decision,” Nevin told The Sun.

Vancouver psychiatrist Dr. Greg Passey, who took Mefloquine while on the Rwanda peacekeeping mission during the 1994 genocide, said he suffered no long-term negative effects.

But he agreed with Blois that the Trudeau government should follow Britain’s lead, given the growing body of research showing a link between the drug and long-term depression, suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I believe Canada should follow the same source of action — that the government be responsible and accountable for its actions,” said Dr. Passey, who treats PTSD victims within the Canadian military and RCMP at the B.C. Operational Stress Injury Clinic.


Last edited by Sparrow on Sun 31 Jan 2016, 05:08; edited 2 times in total

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New push for ban on Mefloquine in the Canadian military

Post by Ex Member on Sun 31 Jan 2016, 04:38

http://edmontonjournal.com/news/insight/new-push-for-ban-on-mefloquine

Former soldiers from the disbanded Canadian Airborne Regiment are pushing for a ban on the controversial anti-malaria drug mefloquine that some say plagued the disastrous 1993 Somalia mission.

Two events — the 2013 U.S. military ban on mefloquine for Special Forces and new scientific studies showing toxicity from the drug can cause permanent brain damage — should force a review of Canadian policy, says John Dowe, a former airborne soldier.

Two former military doctors also agree, given the new studies show evidence of long term, adverse effects similar to symptoms linked to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dowe was witness to the horrific events in March 1993 — the beating death by two airborne soldiers of Somali civilian Shidane Arone, who stole into the Canadian desert compound in Belet Huen.

And he thinks mefloquine, with its many adverse side-effects, played a role in the appalling conduct of the two soldiers. Those side-effects include nightmares, insomnia, depression, cognitive impairment, mood swings and aggression.

Last fall, Dowe began to work with the International Mefloquine Veterans Alliance that is calling for a ban of the drug “in military forces worldwide.”

There are advocacy groups in Australia, the U.K., and Canada, Dowe said.

The international campaign gathered steam last fall when a U.K. parliamentary committee began an inquiry into mefloquine in face of mounting criticism there.

The campaign got a major boost this month when British Defence Minister Mark Lancaster issued an apology at the inquiry to soldiers improperly issued the drug.  

As in Canada, the drug was issued to all British soldiers heading to malaria-prone regions such as Afghanistan, despite warnings from the drug manufacturer to assess each soldier individually for risk factors, such as pre-existing conditions, including depression.  

“That was a very significant day for us,” Dowe said.

Airborne soldiers in Somalia were issued the drug with no individual assessment and no one monitored the side-effects during the mission, he said.

Hervey Blois, a medic on the fateful Somali mission, recalled getting the weekly “sandwich bag “ with the big pill and no warning about side-effects and no warning to stop taking the drug if side-effects occurred.

Medic Hervey Blois spent 20 years in the military. In this photo, he is preparing for 1993 tour to Bosnia after returning from Somalia mission where he served as operating room technician.


The soldiers took the drug on Wednesdays. Those nights, the cries  and shouts of soldiers with nightmares — dubbed  “meflomares” — disrupted the African quiet, said Blois, who still suffers from the side-effects.

In late 2015, Blois wrote the Defence Department and Veterans Affairs seeking assistance and an apology to the soldiers of the airborne regiment.

“I’m not happy with the response, it does not address the questions at all,” Blois said.

The Defence Department confirmed the drug is still “a front line anti-malarial” drug used along with other anti-malarial drugs.

But these days, fewer soldiers are using it — about five per cent, spokeswoman Jennifer Eckersley said.

Drug manufacturer Roche recently told the British inquiry the drug has a higher risk of causing depression and anxiety than other anti-malarials.

That’s why it must be properly prescribed according to the guidelines which call for individual risk assessment, Dr. Franches Nicole told the committee.

Given the mounting evidence of long-term effects, the drug should be dropped, say two doctors.

In July 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued stronger warnings about possible permanent neurological side-effects, including dizziness, anxiety, depression and hallucinations.

The FDA also noted the possibility that soldiers with mefloquine toxicity — toxic levels in the brain — may have been misdiagnosed with other disorders such as PTSD.

Shortly after those warnings, the U.S. military banned the drug for Special Forces including Green Berets and Army Rangers, and made it a drug of last resort for the rest of the military.

Greg Passey, a former Canadian Army psychiatrist who took mefloquine while serving in Rwanda, said new research clearly points to long-term effects from taking the drug.

‘“We were aware of the acute effects,” but recent research showed there are long-term effects, said Passey, who spent 22 years as a medical officer in the military.

Passey, who treats veterans at British Columbia’s Operational Stress Injury Clinic, hopes the military is keeping track of those who took mefloquine because there could be an issue of providing benefits to affected soldiers.

Passey added he’s also convinced mefloquine “played a huge role” in the behaviour of Master Corporal Clayton Matchee and Private Kyle Brown in the beating death and torture of the Somali civilian.

Dr. Remington Nevin, a former U.S. army physician, epidemiologist and renowned expert in neuropsychiatric effects of mefloquine who lectures at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore pushed for years for a ban on the drug in the U.S. military.

And he said the Canadian military should also drop the drug. Only mefloquine, a neurotoxicant, can damage the nervous system. Other anti-malaria drugs, doxycycline and Malarone, do not, Nevin said in an interview.    

It’s almost impossible to issue the drug safely when the troops are in the battlefield, he said.

Drug regulators in the U.S. and Europe warn to discontinue the drug at the onset of “very common symptoms,” including insomnia, abnormal dreams or anxiety, he said.

Packets of mefloquine.

Packets of mefloquine. Shaughn Butts / Edmonton Journal

But many soldiers don’t readily report psychological side-effects or do not attribute them to the drug, he said. So they do not stop taking it when they should.  

“There are many reasons a soldier would have sleepless nights in battle,” and he or she might not realize the drug is the cause, Nevin said.

“In military settings, mefloquine cannot be used as directed.”

Nevin also testified in December at the U.K. inquiry that the list of symptoms have grown to include nightmares, which are experienced by “a sizable minority of those taking the drug.”  

Vivid dreams are now considered an early warning sign of susceptibility to toxicity, Nevin said.

Many think adverse reactions occur only to soldiers with a previous history of mental health problems. “This is not true. Anyone is at risk,” he told the committee.

U.S. military policies require an assessment of each soldier before prescribing the drug. But it doesn’t always work, he testified.  

In Afghanistan, one in seven soldiers who showed warning signs, indicating they should not use the drug, were given mefloquine, Nevin told the committee.

In Australia, the country’s Defence Force, made up of the navy, army and air force, has launched an internal inquiry into the use of the drug.

Australian soldiers first used the drug in 2001-02 on a peacekeeping mission in East Timor and later in Afghanistan.

In his testimony before the British inquiry, Lancaster said he still supports his country’s military policy to keep mefloquine on the list of approved anti-malaria drugs for soldiers.

But to those “limited number” of soldiers who claim they were not medically assessed before taking the drug, Lancaster apologized.

“Should that be the case, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to any former or current service personnel.

“I and my department take extremely seriously claims that any drug has been inappropriately prescribed  to service personnel and  that serious and long-lasting adverse drug effects have been experienced.”



Former military psychiatrist sees the danger with anti-malarial drug

In January 1996, army psychiatrist Dr. Greg Passey informed his bosses he would testify at the Somali inquiry into the conduct of the now disbanded Canadian Airborne Regiment.

Passey was convinced the anti-malaria drug mefloquine taken by the troops played a role in the shocking behaviour of two soldiers involved in the beating death of Somali civilian Shidane Aron in 1993 during a mission in that country.

“I had served with the airborne in Rwanda. They were really professional,” Passey said in a recent interview.

But something had gone wrong on that fateful night in Somalia. Passey figured mefloquine played a role.

“I thought the military should be aware of — that the courts should be aware — that it has the potential to have an extreme effect on individual behaviour.

“I wrote a letter to the committee in January 1996 and stated my opinion that mefloquine had significant side-effects … of paranoia and aggression.”

“Unfortunately, the Liberal government shut down the inquiry the week before I was to testify. And that was the end of my involvement in the issue until now.”

In recent months, former airborne veterans have started a campaign to ban mefloquine and re-examine its impact on former soldiers.

Passey, who went on to become an expert in post-traumatic stress disorder, agrees with their concerns.

He saw the side-effects when he was in Rwanda just after the genocide, where Canadian General Romeo Dallaire headed a small UN force. Passey was head of a mental health team sent to assess the condition of military members who witnessed the slaughter.

Former army psychiatrist Greg Passey is an expert in treating PTSD. He's also concerned about new studies showing similar symptoms among soldiers who had adverse reactions to mefloquine, an anti-malarial drug.

Former army psychiatrist Greg Passey is an expert in treating PTSD.  Supplied

Passey took mefloquine himself. While he personally had no side-effects, he saw them in two members of his team and it made him uncomfortable.

“These two became isolated, mistrustful, paranoid and verbally aggressive. At one point in a meeting, one of them pulled out a knife and was playing with it.”

Passey said the military has a right to order troops to take the drug if it is the only way to avoid getting malaria.

“From a military perspective in a war scenario, the mission takes precedence,” he said. “But if at all possible, you should not be prescribing it.”

The file on mefloquine

Mefloquine developed by U.S. army and Roche in the 1970s to prevent malaria and treat it.

Used widely by travellers and armed forces for years.

Known side effects for some users include nightmares, depression, cognitive impairment, aggressive behaviour and paranoia.

Issued to Canadian Airborne Regiment in 1993 for Somalia mission.

In 2009, drug no longer on the preferred list in U.S. military

In 2013, U.S. military bans the use by special forces after the FDA issues strong warnings about side effects.

FDA continues to approve the drug as long as it is properly prescribed.

Still used by forces in the UK, Australia and Canada.


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