Is it PTSD or the Side Effects of Meflouquine / Lariam?

Is it PTSD or is it Meflouquine?

August 26, 2016

Is it PTSD or is it Meflouquine?

What is Meflouquine?

An anti-malaria drug was developed by the U.S. Army in the 1970’s. It was then administered to U.S. service personnel beginning in the 1980’s.  It has now been found to create serious side effects in its users.  Many of the side effects mimic the symptoms of PTSD. This finding has caused many medical professionals to wonder if the current diagnosis of post 9/11 service members suffering from PTSD may in fact be the results of the malaria drug, Meflouquine. Mefluoquine is also sold under the name Lariam.

Meflouquine was prescribed to American troops until 2009, spanning decades of use by the military. According to former Army physician and researcher at the Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, Dr. Remington Nevin, reports that the drug “may increase the firing of neurons and cause damage to the brain stem.”

Box of Meflouquine / Lariam Tablets

Symptoms of Meflouquine / Lariam

The symptoms of Meflouquine poisoning include:  anxiety, paranoia and hallucinations and psychosis. These symptoms are very similar to PTSD symptoms.  Researchers now believe the drug is the culprit for many suffering veterans with the diagnosis of PTSD.  Therefore, PTSD treatments will not work to alleviate the damage.


The devastation to the brain and brain stem can last for years. The damage can even be permanent.  In 2013, the FDA changed its ruling for the label affixed to the drug.  The label has since been replaced with a box warning which states the serious psychiatric and nerve side effects possible with the use of the drug.

In the News

A June profile published in ‘Drug Safety Case Reports’ reported the experience of one Navy man who was previously diagnosed with PTSD from his deployment.  However,  treatment did little to alleviate his symptoms. He was referred to Walter Reed National Medical Center.  It was there that Melflouquine poisoning was suspected.

British officials have called for a ban on prescribing Meflouquine to their troops.

But, as of this writing the drug is licensed for sale in 42 countries.  The drug is still used when others fail.  In 2003, the U.S. military was administering nearly 50,000 prescriptions to troops.  By 2015, the number of prescriptions in the military for Meflouquine fell to 216.

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3 Responses

J Schlaak
J Schlaak

August 28, 2016

Any problems reported from chloroquine or primaquine mandatory for troops fighting in Vietnam?


August 28, 2016

Again… Developed in the 70s, handed out since the 80s, yet only has researchers concerned about post 9/11 veterans. I not only took this med for 6 months in 93, but was responsible to ensure every Marine I was with did as well. This condition could explain a lot for me.


August 27, 2016

When my symptoms of PTSD came on as a past medic combat medic I began to research everything diligently as the condition was literally driving me to my grave and finding little if no help from the VA I had asked them to look at the malaria in that in my research the symptoms showed as if I had malaria anyway let me know if there’s a test that reveals if it is due to the inoculation for malaria as I am going on by 15 plus years of dealing with PTSD then it’s anxiety disorder chronic pain chronic loss of strength inability to sleep I’d like to know the correlation of the multiple symptoms to see if it truly lines up in that it is and could well be you know the side effects from a medication I have gone to the lab at a VA once and requested that they analyze a single thread of hair from the top of my head to see if we could find what was causing my mental condition that regulates my physical condition xcetera this is going back seven or eight years ago that I asked for this and still there seems to be just a real inability to diagnose this correctly I am still worried and my life has certainly been cut short I know this if anybody would like to speak with me I would be more than welcome to set up Council thank you James Styer 1300 Mill Park Drive Marysville Ohio 43040 phone numbers 937 441-5972 if there’s anything that we can do today to help eliminate or is this a condition that will be a forever VA condition because of the inoculations that were given thank you so much for this sincerely James Styer

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