Common Anti-malarial Drug Linked to Serious Mental Disorders


“British service personnel are being given an anti-malarial drug which can leave almost one in 10 falling victim to serious psychiatric side-effects,” reports The Independent. “Soldiers given mefloquine, better known as Lariam, including those currently deployed to Sierra Leone to fight the Ebola outbreak, are four times more likely to develop mental health problems than service personnel who are not given the drug.”

Soldiers still suffering serious mental illness linked to controversial anti-malarial drug Lariam (The Independent, November 28, 2014)


  1. Melfloquine is a synthetic analogue of quinine, which is an anti-malarial that occurs naturally in the bark of the cinchona tree. Lariam stopped being being marketed in the US in 2009, and as mentioned in the article, had a black box label put on it in 2013. I do so hope Brittian stops giving this toxic drug, for which a natural alternative exists, to their soldiers.

    Report comment

  2. Several years ago, Lariam was reported by Time to be among the top ten prescription drugs linked to violence. Looks like all the other drugs on the list are psychiatric drugs. Here’s the link:
    The information published in the Time article came from this study:
    It’s remarkable how many more psychiatric drugs made PloS One’s list (in addition to the Lariam, a.k.a. mefloquine).

    Report comment

  3. There was a story going around at my work a few years ago that one of the communications guys that was sent to Africa on assignment, after taking Larium didn’t come out of his hotel room for three days. He was completely paranoid, wouldn’t open the door and was found crouching on the floor. My husband won’t take it as he tried it once, and it gave him violent dreams. But, it’s off- patent, so it’s cheap for the military. And dangerous when you have access to guns.

    Report comment