Elite Army Units to Stop Using Controversial Malaria Drug
Fox News reports that elite Army units including Green Berets and Rangers have received word from their top medical official that they are to stop using the malaria drug mefloquine immediately.
Friday’s Order to End Mefloquine Use
- The message to end use of the malaria drug was handed down by the Surgeon General’s Office of the Army Special Operations Command.
- The order affects approximately 25,000 Green Berets, Rangers, Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations soldiers.
- Commanders and medical workers were also ordered to assess that possibility that some cases of mental health issues caused by the drug could have been misdiagnosed as post-traumatic stress disorder or other psychological problems.
- The message directly referenced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s decision to requiring that the drug include a black box warning label stressing the possibility of neurologic side effects.
Mefloquine Requires Black Box Warning Label
- The decision was made for mefloquine to require stronger warnings of possible psychological side effects July 29, 2013.
- According to the FDA, side effects of the drug could be long lasting and even permanent.
The side effects include:
- Ringing in the Ears
- Loss of Balance
- A number of military families have blamed the drug for causing psychological problems in their loved ones leading to killings and suicide.
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