BBC R4: 311100A Mar 15 - The Lariam Legacy

So, taking our Larium today ?

  • Doc knows best...down in one,cheers easy.

    Votes: 2 15.4%
  • Er...after you doc?

    Votes: 6 46.2%
  • Bloody BBC do gooders - always got some gripe

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Bloody BBC - always asking awkward questions

    Votes: 1 7.7%
  • As the shiny purple fishes run laughing through your fingers - hoof em over? 8-/

    Votes: 3 23.1%
  • NEW-this issue has been badly handled to date - get a grip!

    Votes: 1 7.7%

  • Total voters
    13

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#1
Having used the search function like a good little bunny, I am aware there have been numerous threads on Arrse about the dreaded Mad Larry. e.g http://www.arrse.co.uk/community/th...mefloquine-also-known-as-lariam.204453/page-3

@SixBadges @theoriginalphantom etc have been round the buoy on this topic, I appreciate.

Not used it myself (Paludrine and Nivequine for me on various trips, thankfully none to seriously jungly spots) but a couple of our guys on a squadron det to Sierra Leone relayed some interesting moments.

Therefore no personal axe to grind - but for 'the good and benefit of the Troop' .

Environmental Health types and pharm techs may wish to tune in for the latest in a series of Beeb items:

LINKY

An investigation into why the Ministry of Defence continues to use a drug that has been shown to cause psychosis, hallucinations, paranoia and confusion.
Lariam, also known by its generic name Mefloquine, is a highly effective anti-malarial drug, but in some people it can cause unpleasant neuropsychiatric reactions, problems with balance and vision, tinnitus and seizures. The drug manufacturer warns that, "Lariam may cause serious mental problems in some people". It also reports a link between Lariam and suicide.
In 2013, the US Food and Drug Administration applied the most serious kind of warning to the drug label, adding that the neurologic side effects may "persist or become permanent". US Special Forces soon banned the drug and launched an investigation into potential cases that may have been previously overlooked or misdiagnosed.
The wider US Army has "drastically reduced" its use of mefloquine, prescribing it only to soldiers who cannot tolerate the alternative anti-malarial drugs - as is also the case in Australia.
So why does the MOD continue to issue it to approximately 2,500 British Service Personnel each year? And is enough being done to ensure its safe use by British Armed Forces? We hear claims from ex-soldiers who felt compelled to use the drug and unable to report the side effects.




ONE: Kindly take a pause of two marching paces before responding with 'It's all arrse - we've been here before, wind your neck in no mark'

TWO: Listen to the programme - THEN tell me what's wrong with their conclusions.
 
#2
my first experience of this was in Angola. I'm sure I've posted about it before.

the first problem we had with it was a lad on the RFA Sir Galahad had only taken one dose and it was believed (but not proven) to be the cause of him going somewhat mental on the ship. he kept trying to leap overboard, would randomly shout out the worst section fire control orders I've ever heard and swear he could hear voices in the air conditioning.

during the tour we had everyone taking their tablets on the same day, except those of us who went on the Galahad. Our SSM (the raving bellend) demanded that everyone parade and take their tablets in front of him. I refused as I'd taken them the day before and the bellthronk tried to have me charged for refusing an order.

interestingly the day after 'tablet day' (wednesday?) sick parade was much larger than usual and mainly headaches and fight related injuries. One lad reported that he had dreamt of 'the figure of death' who was 'a pakistani skeleton' errr, how did you know this... 'I just did'

during the tour we had an official letter from the MoD stating something along the lines of there are no serious side effects of Lariam and we weren't getting any.

i stopped taking it anyway and haven't taken it since.

Interestingly enough I have not died from Malaria, just in case anyone was wondering
 
#3
Have taken it on several tours. Had some incredibly violent nightmares on just one occasion; felt like shit on a couple of others but only for about 24 hrs; haven't caught Malaria so I'll use it on my next deployments as it is once a week rather than once a day...
 
#4
Used Larium in Botswana 2001 then many times since. It just made me sleepy, I could sleep all day, apart from scoff, then go back to sleep - fine the next morning.

When I asked the doc on first taking it, he said the others no longer work - good enough for me.

There are people who have taken it bullshit about the side effects, typical squaddie one upmanship.
 
#5
many people used it without incident, some had effects, mostly we noticed headaches and anger issues
 
#6
Have taken it on several tours. Had some incredibly violent nightmares on just one occasion; felt like shit on a couple of others but only for about 24 hrs; haven't caught Malaria so I'll use it on my next deployments as it is once a week rather than once a day...
That was probably just your body's reaction of the possibility of going to war.
 
#8
K coy 42 Cdo Sierra Leone. When we went back to the RFA to wash the gunk off from under our bellend ends, we were bunked three deep and it was like a fecking wearwolf convention during the night

Go a civvy mate who did larium and came out of a complete psychotic episode that lasted 2 years


caveat can't stream Beeb as away from the green and pleasant land
 
#9
That was probably just your body's reaction of the possibility of going to war.
i have to disagree with you to some degree on that one, having seen so many people coming in on sick parade complaining of headaches and nightmares in the (approx 24 hours) after taking them compared to the rest of the week there has to be something to it.
I believe that the drug has an ability to bring out hidden conditions rather than cause mental disorders. Maybe it's bringing out the stress of being on tour/at war etc but it isn't the body on it's own. If you see what I mean
 
#10
i have to disagree with you to some degree on that one, having seen so many people coming in on sick parade complaining of headaches and nightmares in the (approx 24 hours) after taking them compared to the rest of the week there has to be something to it.
I believe that the drug has an ability to bring out hidden conditions rather than cause mental disorders. Maybe it's bringing out the stress of being on tour/at war etc but it isn't the body on it's own. If you see what I mean
Quick, you'll need this from the QM.

1385-964-99-4235
 
#11
You've lost me old chap, mind you having a house full of plague (ok chicken pox in a 5 yr old) I'm easily distracted at the moment.
 
#12
K coy 42 Cdo Sierra Leone. When we went back to the RFA to wash the gunk off from under our bellend ends, we were bunked three deep and it was like a fecking wearwolf convention during the night

Go a civvy mate who did larium and came out of a complete psychotic episode that lasted 2 years


caveat can't stream Beeb as away from the green and pleasant land
I'm glad I had the ships 'hospital' to live in, not only was it comfortable, well lit and had natural light,it also had it's own loo and a bath. oh and a fridge. half frozen oranges are really nice in hot weather....
 
#14
I'm glad I had the ships 'hospital' to live in, not only was it comfortable, well lit and had natural light,it also had it's own loo and a bath. oh and a fridge. half frozen oranges are really nice in hot weather....
are you a bottom touching RFA medic?
 
#15
are you a bottom touching RFA medic?
how very dare you! I was RAMC for my (many, many) sins. we just got the terrible job of going to Angola on the Galahad. a nice 2 week cruise gradually getting acclimatised to the heat. it seemed somewhat rude to not staff the 'hospital' and of course, live there to provide a full 24 hour cover
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#16
Jolly good - as I said in my preamble numerous previous threads on this topic and always nice to hear variations on

' I took it, never had an issue, just the usual suspects, compo-sucking lowlifes purging/dripping/ticking/manking* '

Apologies to those who will have heard it all before, none for highlighting an item of possible interest to those who haven't.

I look forward to listening ( without prejudice George Michael stylee )to the programme on Tuesday morning .

Bit current considering how many of our people are currently working in West Africa on Op Ebola Watch....



* Insert your own Service/Corps/regimental version of the verb 'to whinge' as required
 
Last edited:

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#17
Interesting quote

' If Lariam was a piece of equipment it would have been banned years ago'
 
#18
We had Mad Larry in Sierra Leone circa 2001. Lots of angry blokes which I put down to the heat and a bell end of an OC that was until a weird incident up country one night in which I had a long conversation with my grandfather, dressed in a kilt who was, for reasons I couldn't explain, sat on the end of my cot bed. Not bad going considering he'd been dead for 15 odd years.

Strangely, I discovered this thread looking for info on tinnitus. Turns out most people don't have a constant ringing in their ears 24/7!
 
#19
Our SSM (the raving bellend) demanded that everyone parade and take their tablets in front of him. I refused as I'd taken them the day before and the bellthronk tried to have me charged for refusing an order.
Big Jim..... A bellend? That great friend of mine who never banned me from drinking? Oh wait he did! It wasn't the mefloquine that made me jump overboard, it was the unrestricted access to booze in the RFA mess!
 
#20
Big Jim..... A bellend? That great friend of mine who never banned me from drinking? Oh wait he did! It wasn't the mefloquine that made me jump overboard, it was the unrestricted access to booze in the RFA mess!
Lariam being discussed on Victoria Darbyshire prog BBC tomorrow 9-11am. Also Defence Select committee taking evidence from Roche, the manufacturer.
 

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