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Crowe raises Lariam concerns with Minister for Defence

8 October, 2015 - by Seán Crowe TD


Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Defence, Seán Crowe TD, has again raised his concerns over members of the Defence Forces being prescribed the anti-malarial drug Lariam.

Crowe raised the issue during Parliamentary Questions on Defence in the Dáil today.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“I have repeatedly raised this issue as indications of Lariam’s toxic and harmful effects continue to grow.

“Lariam was developed by the US military in the 1970s and new damning research into its effects has been published.

“In October 2013, Roche, the manufacturer of Lariam, wrote to doctors in Britain warning that ‘hallucinations, psychosis, suicide, suicidal thoughts and self-endangering behaviour have been reported’ and that the drug ‘may induce potentially serious neuropsychiatric disorders.’

“The US military declared it a ‘drug of last resort’ two years ago and the US Special Forces Command has banned its use.

“The Defence Ministries in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Canada have either banned the use of Lariam, or use it as a last resort.

“I cannot understand why Lariam is still being subscribed to Defence Forces personal, while safer options are available. It is not the only anti-malarial drug available, yet it is possibly the least safe option available.

“This is a classic case of doctors differing while patients are harmed.

“I am calling on the Minister to urgently stop the prescription of Lariam and to fully support soldiers who have taken Lariam while serving overseas.” 

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