Mefloquine / Topics & Posted Articles

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Re: Mefloquine / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Ex Member on Sun 07 Feb 2016, 10:40

trooper wrote:No kidding...they got rid of the Peri's within the service...learn something new everyday.

The FRP program I believe.

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Re: Mefloquine / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by bigrex on Sun 07 Feb 2016, 11:03

Actually I think it was after FRP. I think it happened in 96-97. I was a gym rat, going to the gym almost every day at lunch to play pick up basketball, as well as playing on three different teams at some points. The only thing that really changed was all the gym staff started wearing new t-shirts with their new PSP logo. The only aspect that I really didn't agree with, and it may have changed since my release, was that every base sports team had to have one of these civilians as their coach.even if there were better choices available.
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Re: Mefloquine / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Guest on Sun 07 Feb 2016, 19:44

Stop pretending mefloquine was used safely on soldiers: former top Canadian drug bureaucrat

The federal government should recognize the anti-malaria drug mefloquine was not used safely in a trial during the fateful Somalia mission and address veteran concerns, a former top Health Canada bureaucrat says.

The defence and health departments failed to do their due diligence when the drug was released under a clinical trial to 900 Canadian Airborne soldiers going to Somalia in 1992, Dr. Michele Brill Edwards says.

“We owe a duty to them to recognize mefloquine may have caused great harm,” Brill Edwards told The Journal in a rare interview on the subject.

“It’s high time we stopped pretending mefloquine was used safely.”

While many people can take the drug without danger, side effects may include nightmares, paranoia, aggression and cognitive impairment.

It’s now known there can be long-term symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Former soldiers in Canada, Australia and Britain are pushing for better treatment for these effects and an inquiry into mefloquine use in early 1990s.

In 1992, Brill Edwards was the federal government’s chief physician in charge of prescription drug approvals.

At the time, she had just started preliminary talks with the manufacturer Roche, which was seeking market access.

Although the drug was not yet approved, the military pushed to get access to it and received approval to use it under clinical trial rules.

Those rules required strict protocols on how to individually prescribe the drug, to monitor closely the side effects and to report back, and Health Canada had an obligation to make sure the rules were followed, Brill Edwards said.

Each soldier was to be assessed for risk factors, but that did not happen, she said.

Although the drug was not to be used with the alcohol, beer was available to the soldiers on the Somali mission, she said.

“DND used the facade of a clinical trial and gave it to the men,” said Brill Edwards, who left Health Canada in 1996 over safety concerns with other drugs.

“It was an abdication by both parties,” she said. “They both had a duty of care and failed to perform.”

In a military situation, it would be difficult to say whether insomnia and other side effects were caused by the drug or battle stress, she said.

Her comments echo the findings of a 1999 auditor general’s report on the drug’s use during the Somalia mission.

“National Defence did not keep essential records or follow required procedures required to fulfill its obligations as a participant in clinical study,” the report says.

Health Canada took no steps to ensure the defence department was following protocol, according to the report.

Brill Edwards said more recent evidence of the drug’s impact should have been expected.

“An acute neuro-psychiatric side effect, that’s a red flag that you should monitor for long-term effects,” she said.

In the mid-1990s, many soldiers and some doctors thought mefloquine played a role in an incident that saw two Canadian airborne soldiers beat a Somali civilian to death, but the issue was not addressed at a subsequent inquiry.

In 2013, the U.S. army banned mefloquine for its special forces. The drug is still recommended by the World Health Organization as an effective anti-malarial drug.

Before it was licensed, the drug was also given to a small number Canadian soldiers heading to Congo and Cambodia with informed consent. But informed consent was not done with the 900 airborne soldiers, says the auditor’s report.

The controversy over mefloquine gathered steam last fall when the British Parliament began an inquiry into its use by British armed forces.

Last month, a British cabinet minister apologized to soldiers who were given the drug with no individual risk assessment.

Former Canadian soldiers say they also didn’t receive individual assessments.

While the previous Conservative government took no action on the mefloquine issue, Conservative defence critic James Bezan has called for a ban on the drug in Canada’s military and an apology to veterans.

http://edmontonjournal.com/news/national/stop-pretending-mefloquine-was-used-safely-on-soldiers-former-top-canadian-drug-bu

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Mefloquine toxicity in the CF

Post by Paranoidandroid on Sat 07 May 2016, 21:37

Ever since taking this in 2005, I have become a different person. My symptoms mimic PTSD, however I know this is not the issue as I had a relatively non eventful tour. I suffer from a constant ringing in my ears, vertigo, paranoia, anxiety (GAD and social) insomnia, depression memory loss, alcoholism, etc. I am seeking medical help, been put on every anti depressant, sent to rehab. I have seen 2 psychologist one who diagnosed me with depression, the other ADHD. I have been reading a lot lately on the toxic effects that can be mefloquine related. I read one particular article (Google Dave Bona mefloquine) but it described me to a T. I became a severe alcoholic after returning from tour, and after doing research, I have been put 2 and 2 together and believe I suffer from mefloquine toxicity.

I find myself unable to put on the uniform anymore and experience terrible anxiety around people, especially at work.

I was advised to put in for a medical OT, but I don't think that will fix my issues and I am unsure if I have grounds for a medical release.

I have no claims in with VAC because Canada is one of the few NATO countries to acknowledge mefloquine toxicity.

Has anyone had any success with VAC claims linking their anxiety, tinnitus, depression, alcoholism, etc. to mefloquine toxicity?

Also I am going for a brain scan this month, but I don't know if this will prove anything. All I know is that something is seriously wrong with me and my paranoia is getting worse by the day.

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Re: Mefloquine / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Guest on Sun 08 May 2016, 06:22

Others can correct me here but I have yet to hear of anyone having success in their claim with VAC with respect to Mefloquine.

Here is a reference to a letter sent to our Minister Kent Hehr on the subject ;

http://edmontonjournal.com/news/national/veterans-anxious-to-hear-from-minister-kent-hehr-on-mefloquine-issue

You can find more discussions and articles on Mefloquine above in the category Your Comments , page 2 , 13th topic down from the top titled " Military veteran calls for federal apology for controversial anti-malaria drug Mefloquine."

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Re: Mefloquine / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Guest on Sun 08 May 2016, 10:30

never here'd a word of any success with this either either but then again it is misdiagnosed as PTSD at times . the brain scan can help in confirmation of anxiety or depression don't recall witch maybe both . thing is I don't think it will be able to tell you the case buds .

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Mefloquine / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Paranoidandroid on Sat 21 May 2016, 13:59

When will the CF begin to recognize mefloquine toxicity?

Hey all,

It seems we are one of the few countries to acknowledge the toxic effects that mefloquine can have on out troops. How much longer can they sweep this under the rug?


https://homecomingvets.com/2015/08/22/mefloquine-is-already-the-militarys-agent-orange-new-report-reveals-stunning-facts/

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

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-remington-nevin/mefloquine-the-militarys-_b_3989034.html

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Veteran finds new hope after years of mental suffering

Post by Guest on Tue 24 May 2016, 13:59

A Saskatchewan veteran says he has accomplished his mission after writing his story of a battle with the side effects of a controversial antimalarial drug.

“It’s helped at least one person. It’s actually helped quite a few people — I’ve had contact from people from Ireland, Australia, and it’s resonating with a lot of veterans,” Dave Bona said.

An Ontario veteran also contacted him, saying his experience — drinking, destroyed marriage and inconsistent employment — mirrored Bona’s.

The International Mefloquine Veterans Alliance published Bona’s first-person account earlier this month. Bona, who lives near St. Denis, said the response reassures him he’s not alone in his struggles.

Bona took mefloquine for his 1992 deployment to Somalia, and again for his 1994 tour in Rwanda. He was on the drug for a total of about 13 months.

As soon as the drug got into his system, he felt nauseous and he had his first seizure.

“I didn’t want to take it. But you really weren’t given any options back then,” he said, adding soldiers were not warned of the side effects.

Towards the end of the Somalia tour he woke up in the middle of the night walking barefoot with his rifle, thinking he was going to shoot someone. The next day he discovered a round in his rifle that hadn’t been there when he went to bed.

His life unravelled when he returned to Canada. His marriage ended, and drinking led to a court martial and leaving the military.

He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in 1999. However, despite doing all the treatments asked of him — in-patient programs, anger management and more — he couldn’t get a handle on his emotions.

“I was still snapping and losing it. I just couldn’t keep my stuff together,” he said.

Three years ago, his psychologist started asking about other potential causes — perhaps a past concussion — trying to find some explanation for why he wasn’t succeeding. She suggested mefloquine might be the reason.

Around the same time, Bona started a new treatment, a neurotherapy meant for people with brain injuries. The results startled him. He was finally better able to manage his moods.

The effects of mefloquine are subtle and intermingled with PTSD. It’s hard to tell where symptoms of one end and the other begins. Even during an interview about mefloquine, Bona was inexorably drawn to telling the horror stories he experienced in Somalia and Rwanda. His faithful German Shepard, Aras, senses when he is stressed and offers a comforting paw on his leg.

He hasn’t yet had a formal diagnosis of brain damage due to mefloquine — that will have to come from a neurologist — but he has no doubt, he said.

“I’m not alone. I did treatment for PTSD for so long, trying to get a handle on it. And after a while you just lose hope — OK, I’m going to be crazy as a sack of hammers for the rest of my life. With this, though, all of a sudden it opens up different treatment options. Instead of going down the PTSD route, now I can go down the acquired brain injury route.”

He and the veterans alliance hope the armed forces stop using the drug. The army health care system isn’t built to treat the after-effects, Bona said.

Dr. Michele Brill Edwards, a former top Health Canada bureaucrat, told the Edmonton Journal in February that the federal defence and health departments failed to do their due diligence when the drug was released under a clinical trial to 900 Canadian Airborne soldiers going to Somalia in 1992.

National Defence spokeswoman Jennifer Eckersley said in an email that “mefloquine usage in the Canadian Armed Forces has been declining and is now the exception rather than the rule.”

Members may make an informed decision regarding which antimalarial medication is right for them, and may take another option if they do not want to take mefloquine, she said.

In 2015, mefloquine was prescribed for 42 people — 4.3 per cent of military members who needed anti-malarial medication, Eckersley said.

It took a year to fine tune his therapy, but Bona said he now no longer loses his temper over trivial matters — he can reason his way out of a problem. Even if he does slip, it takes maybe a day or two to cool off, rather than a week.

“I don’t have to be like this for the rest of my life. I can have a normal life,” he said.

http://thestarphoenix.com/news/local-news/veteran-finds-new-hope-after-years-of-mental-suffering

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Risky anti-malaria drug given to thousands of Canadian veterans

Post by Guest on Wed 25 May 2016, 18:55

A U.K. parliamentary report says the risk of permanent psychological side effects on mefloquine is “unacceptable” for British soldiers.

A controversial drug that has been given to thousands of Canadian soldiers and is still in use in the military was deemed too risky for British troops in a landmark report released Tuesday.

The report by MPs on the U.K. parliamentary defence committee recommended that the British military use the anti-malaria drug mefloquine only as a “drug of last resort,” due to the risk of severe psychological side effects.

While adverse reactions to the drug are “in the minority, we do not believe that the risk and severity of these side effects are acceptable for our military personnel overseas,” the report said.

In Canada, the report was welcomed by veterans who say the Canadian military has lagged behind its allies in restricting the drug’s use and addressing the legacy of long-term side effects among soldiers.

“Canada should get in lockstep with its allies on this issue” said former Canadian Airborne Regiment soldier John Dowe, head of a three-country advocacy group pushing for an end to the military use of mefloquine.

Mefloquine, also sold under the brand name Lariam, is one of several drugs used by the Canadian military to prevent malaria on missions to countries where the disease is present.

According to pharmacy records, 15,677 Canadian soldiers were given the drug between January 2001 and March 2012, said National Defence spokeswoman Jennifer Eckersley.

The U.S. army restricted the drug in July 2013 when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a so-called “black-box” warning — its strongest warning label — that highlighted possible permanent side effects such dizziness, insomnia and seizures, as well as psychiatric reactions such as paranoia, depression and anxiety.

“Neurological side effects can occur any time during drug use and can last for months to years after the drug has stopped and can be permanent,” the warning reads.

Drug manufacturer Roche requires an individual risk assessment before prescribing the drug — a step the U.K. report says was often omitted during large-scale deployments of soldiers.

Mefloquine is now used much less frequently, Eckersley said, noting that the drug was given to the majority of soldiers who took an anti-malarial in 2002-03, but just 6 per cent received it in 2012.

“We are aware of the latest U.K. Report and will be reviewing it light of Canadian armed forces’ use of the drug,” she said.

The drug was first issued to Canadians in the ill-fated 1992-93 Somalia mission. All 900 soldiers with the Canadian Airborne Regiment on that mission were given the drug as part of a clinical trial. Mefloquine was unlicensed in Canada at the time, and some veterans of the mission have blamed the drug’s side effects for violence by some soldiers, including the beating death of a Somali teen.

Dave Bona, a former Canadian Airborne soldier who suffered serious side effects from mefloquine in Somalia and Rwanda, said the U.K. report should be a turning point in Canada.

“After this report, it should be clear to the federal government. If they don’t take action, there is something seriously wrong,” said Bona from his home near Saskatoon.

After taking his first dose, Bona felt nauseous and had seizures that night. He was plagued by insomnia, nightmares and “explosive anger” during his nine-month deployment.

Bona experienced the same pattern after taking the drug in Rwanda in 1994. “I’d get so angry I could not think straight,” he said.

After his deployments, Bona’s symptoms followed him back to Canada. His marriage broke up, he turned to alcohol and he had trouble keeping jobs.

In 1999, an Auditor General’s report found that the defence department improperly prescribed mefloquine on the Somalia deployment and failed to track soldiers’ side effects as required by the clinical trial.

In 2000, Bona was kicked out of the army over his problems with alcohol. He was later diagnosed with PTSD.

For 12 years, Bona said he took every treatment possible for PTSD, but he got little relief until his long-time psychologist told him his symptoms matched mefloquine toxicity.

“I’ve done everything they said to do and still I got no relief. But it’s like breaking a leg and getting treatment for a broken arm.”

If the U.K. defence department accepts Tuesday’s recommendations, Britain will join the Australian and U.S. militaries in restricting the drug.

Canadian soldiers currently take mefloquine at five times the rate of Americans, said Dr. Remington Nevin, a former U.S. military physician and the leading expert in the neuropsychiatric effects of the drug.

Nevin, who gave evidence at the U.K. inquiry in December, said less than 1 per cent of U.S. soldiers take mefloquine under the tighter restrictions there.

“Canada is now increasingly isolated in not taking action,” said Nevin.

“It is uncharacteristic of Canada to be so far behind on such a major health issue,” he added.

Mefloquine’s side effects are especially difficult to monitor in a battle situation, as soldiers tend to “under report” symptoms or may attribute some side effects such as insomnia to other factors, the U.K. report noted.

“All of our witnesses acknowledged that there is a risk that some military personnel may hide symptoms in the belief that doing otherwise could jeopardize their careers,” the report said.

During the inquiry, the U.K. minister for welfare and veterans apologized to British soldiers who were given the drug improperly.

Bona and other veterans of the now-disbanded Canadian Airborne Regiment say they want a similar apology.

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2016/05/25/risky-anti-malaria-drug-given-to-thousands-of-canadian-veterans.html

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Anti-Malaria Drug Giving Canadian Soldiers Brain Damage

Post by Guest on Mon 20 Jun 2016, 19:25

Anti-Malaria Drug Giving Canadian Soldiers Brain Damage.

Click on the link below to watch the Video;


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2i5bDOnNam0

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Legal Action in Canada?

Post by red510 on Mon 20 Jun 2016, 19:40

Is there any word of a class action against the government by those that were ordered to take mefloquine while on a mission? I have see lots of new information about those who were affected over the long term but no moves to remediate beyond calls for apologies and banning the use of mefloquine. Thanks in advance.

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Re: Mefloquine / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Guest on Mon 20 Jun 2016, 19:49

I haven't heard of any Canadian lawsuits launched to date.

I know the heat was put on our Minister to further look into acknowledging mefloquine as a claim for benefits but to my knowledge he has not officially addressed this yet.

Lots of discussions on the repercussions of the use of mefloquine both from inside Canada and abroad.

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Re: Mefloquine / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by red510 on Mon 20 Jun 2016, 19:53

Trooper, thank you from the prompt reply. I didn't know about pressure on VAC to acknowledge mefloquine as a claimable benefit. This approach would seem a better first step.

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Urgent Warning Over Malaria Drug Use For UK Military

Post by Guest on Tue 21 Jun 2016, 15:40

Urgent Warning Over Malaria Drug Use For UK Military

Click on the link below to view Video;


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-4wVAesXXI&feature=youtu.be

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