Lariam: Mental illness of British soldiers after being given anti-malaria drug

Live in Kenya part time now down at the coast where Malaria is rife. Do not take antimalarials, however do religiously use Anti mossie spray in the evenings, sleep with a net, and if I start to feel possible symptoms immediately get a blood check.

Cheap and cheerful at any small clinic takes about 10 mins. If confirmed some really good drugs available now that knock it on the head immediately, Coartem is the one I take. 6 tablets and its done.

I also take a daily Vitamin B strong tablet in the evening. It apparently ‘taints’ the blood and mossies don’t like it.

As a kid had malaria and was given Maloprim, but as a cure. Unfortunately it is a preventative and when taken in the doses I was given it began haemolysizing the blood ie destroying the red blood cells. Taken to hospital when I collapsed blood tests quickly showed what was happening. Close call on that as apparently I didn’t have much time left when they began the transfusions.

Took Larium, once!!! After coming down with Malaria, neighbours had some and gave me a dose. Very strong hallucinations that night. Was convinced that I had woken up and the bed was seething with cockroaches that were crawling all over me. Skin sensations were horrible. The staff found me in the Courtyard pretty hysterical, shouting and spraying the mattress and myself with cans of bug spray. They had great trouble convincing me there was nothing on me or mattress. Never took that one again!
 
Cheap and cheerful at any small clinic
Careful. I forbade any employees at the mine in N Tanzania from using the local bush clinics as they re-used their needles and were probably responsible for spreading much HIV far and wide. Didn't stop my driver from taking me to one when I collapsed one day and he saw the signs of malaria. Quinine for the next few days (I can't take Halfan) was a test, and for the next six months I thought I was HIV infected, which was not a happy time. My very comprehensive first-aid kit, which included all the needles, tubes and jollops necessary, was at home, stupidly.
 
This is the DT article today. If it can be proven that Larium caused this episode then the MoD might have to admit their findings were spurious with their raft of claims.
Police in Madagascar are examining the theory Miss Cutland suffered a psychotic episode caused by anti-malaria tablets, following the discovery of doxycycline and Larium in her luggage. Larium has been previously linked with psychotic episodes and a number of cases of attempted suicide.
 
This is the DT article today. If it can be proven that Larium caused this episode then the MoD might have to admit their findings were spurious with their raft of claims.
Police in Madagascar are examining the theory Miss Cutland suffered a psychotic episode caused by anti-malaria tablets, following the discovery of doxycycline and Larium in her luggage. Larium has been previously linked with psychotic episodes and a number of cases of attempted suicide.
If she had Doxy, why would she also have Larium?
 

MrBane

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I think it was Lariam we were issued in Belize in 2006. I used to wake up in my hammock each night in the jungle screaming before throwing myself into the floor.

Maybe less to do with the AM pills and more to do with me being scared of the dark.
 
If she had Doxy, why would she also have Larium?
some people find doxy heightens skin sensitivity. Maybe a family GP is about to get a chat about prescriptions...
 
Careful. I forbade any employees at the mine in N Tanzania from using the local bush clinics as they re-used their needles and were probably responsible for spreading much HIV far and wide. Didn't stop my driver from taking me to one when I collapsed one day and he saw the signs of malaria. Quinine for the next few days (I can't take Halfan) was a test, and for the next six months I thought I was HIV infected, which was not a happy time. My very comprehensive first-aid kit, which included all the needles, tubes and jollops necessary, was at home, stupidly.
Good point there. I insist on seeing the needle taken from a fresh sealed packet, obviously not the only one as they seem quite happy to do that.

You were not by any chance at Mwadui/Williamson’s near Shinyanga? Actualy there were a number of diamond mines around. Flew into Mwadui in charter, then later when flying for East African Airways we used to get these small white sealed packages going to Antwerp with heavy security at a number of stops.
 
No, the Tanzanite and graphite deposit at Merelani, between Arusha and Moshi (just S of Kilimanjaro Intl Airport). Heavy on malaria and for some strange reason otitis media, although most of our medical problems arose out of clashes between my fine askaris and the local banditry. Injuries caused by slack-jawed stupidity were a frequent cause for concern; I (re)introduced a credible H&S training program to the industry in the NE part of the country, which included basic hygiene and not-wearing-flipflops-on-rock-crushing-equipment. Bags of pride.

Edit: Incidentally, when it hits, a bad attack of malaria can leave you quite incapacitated and dribbling a bit; you have to trust those around you to do the right thing; ie not sticking you into a bush clinic where they're as likely to wave bones over you as any of the more acceptable remedies. More usually, though, it comes over you a bit more slowly and you can self-diagnose and do something about it, even if that's only to suck quinine and phone a friend.
 
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Just read that the young girl who threw herself out of the light plane over Madagascar had been acting strangely, had Larium in her luggage and had been sounding very strange to he parents in her last calls to them. Certainly the hallucinations I had were completely real and horrific to me at the time.

It can be very debilitating/lethal rapidly, my next door neighbour died of Cerebral Malaria very quickly, along with at least two other Mzungu’s in the area.
 

I continue to be amazed by this. Lariam is highly dangerous to some of those who use it. In the article above from 2002, a Dr Paul Clarke is quoted:

Dr Paul Clarke was one of the authors of a paper in the British Medical Journal in 1996 which found a one in 200 risk of side effects.
He said: "This vindicates our study and raises some important ethical points about the level of information at which we should start to alert patients to side effects."


Well, back in 1994/5, there were two people in a group of six at my mine in Tanzania who took the stuff on the advice of doctors back in the UK; me and the corporate affairs director. The others either used no prophylactic or something else, probably doxy. Out of that sample of two, two suffered the side-effects, one catastrophically - that's 100%, not 0.5%. It strikes me that Dr Clarke's 'study' should be studied itself. It should be noted by anyone who does so that Roche (the maker) is an enormously wealthy and influential organisation. Roche is the world's third-largest independent biotech company by market cap ($bn209.3). (wikipedia.org)
 

I continue to be amazed by this. Lariam is highly dangerous to some of those who use it. In the article above from 2002, a Dr Paul Clarke is quoted:

Dr Paul Clarke was one of the authors of a paper in the British Medical Journal in 1996 which found a one in 200 risk of side effects.
He said: "This vindicates our study and raises some important ethical points about the level of information at which we should start to alert patients to side effects."


Well, back in 1994/5, there were two people in a group of six at my mine in Tanzania who took the stuff on the advice of doctors back in the UK; me and the corporate affairs director. The others either used no prophylactic or something else, probably doxy. Out of that sample of two, two suffered the side-effects, one catastrophically - that's 100%, not 0.5%. It strikes me that Dr Clarke's 'study' should be studied itself. It should be noted by anyone who does so that Roche (the maker) is an enormously wealthy and influential organisation. Roche is the world's third-largest independent biotech company by market cap ($bn209.3). (wikipedia.org)
Roche? Roche! Cancer Drugs Fund seems to help pharmaceuticals giant Roche most
 

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