:: to the teeth ::    thoughts on social justice, medicine, race, hope and beats

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.
On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." :: Arundhati Roy ::

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." :: Alice Walker ::
Friday, June 25, 2004  

Larium, War, Agression, our Soldiers...

The Veterans' Administration is now telling its docs to watch out for possible long-term side effects of agression, suicide, psychosis, and balance disorders, in patients at these hospitals who have taken Larium (mefloquine), and anti-malarial drug. This is fascinating, because this is a drug that was possibly having these side effects in the soldiers who fought in the Gulf War in 1991, and the drug was still used in THIS iraq war, years later. And only now are doctors being told about this.

But even more intriguing is the intertwined relationship of the post-war effects of Larium and the post-war effects of, well, say... war. What a confounding factor this war thing is -- how does one scientifically measure the effects of an antimalarial drug when most of these side effects can be explained by a big ol' war that can easily leave soldiers with post traumatic stress disorder, psychosis, agressive behavior, suicide, and balance/neurological problems?

One of my friends thinks that blaming Larium is a cover-up for the horrendous effects that war has on people, months and years later. I'm not sure what I believe right now, but if mefloquine DOES have these effects, it's a damn shame that we sent soldiers into Iraq dosed up with this drug, years after there was some evidence about this drug.

posted by Anjali Taneja | 6/25/2004 08:06:00 AM | |


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