View Full Version : CNN iReport Taking Down Controversial Veterans' Accounts of Military Experience

12th November 2013, 00:47
Hello guys, wanted to drop a quick line about CNN's journalism ethics in the PA general forum since it gets a lot of press and viewers. This thread should actually make some of you upset (maybe enough to complain to CNN is what I am hoping, heh). These corporations simply don't care what individuals think -- they have their finger on the group pulse -- mob rules via Disqus and other 3rd party features. Anyhow.

CNN ran a special event today; in fact it's still ongoing. They've invited US military members and veterans to submit personal stories sharing their military experiences and opinions with the public via iReport.

Unfortunately for most of us with a brain, CNN is also taking down many of these honest and heartfelt stories as fast as they are posted. Veterans with something to say are spending time on iReports that literally get removed within minutes -- and not for cursing or for threats, either, but for supplying solid information about abuses committed against our troops by the US government and who was affected.

I wrote briefly about my former home unit, the 130th Airlift Wing, being ordered to use a dangerous anti-malarial against the better judgment of many doctors, experts, and military members at the time. This drug is known as Mefloquine, trade name Lariam. It causes permanent brain damage in rats and humans as per the research of Walter Reed AFB and independent studies.

People think that Lariam could have affected the actions of Staff Sergeant Robert Bales. When I learned 4-6 years ago about the horrifying side effects and loss of quality of life attributable to Lariam, I wrote to my former commander and his adjutant general. These men had nothing to do with the Mefloquine poisoning -- I felt the need to inform them of the exposures inflicted upon their personnel. No one ever thanked me for that.

I am not looking for thanks -- but by God, I will not tolerate censorship. A CNN correspondent named Deirdre Tynan was working on this story years ago, sent out FOIA requests regarding the use of Lariam in countries like Uzbekistan, where my unit was sent in 2004, all because of my open letter to Army National Guard General Allen Tackett. Although she heard back from KBR/Halliburton, the US DoD did not furnish the information she requested in regards to ambassadorial wires between the US and the countries to which we were deployed in support of OEF/OIF.

She also wanted to know about what was going on with Gitmo detainees being forced to take Mefloquine. We never heard back from the DoD on this issue, and in fact the FOIA requests remain open and unresolved. The silence of the government on Mefloquine is the single most damning aspect of this story.

On behalf of the hundreds, if not thousands, of lives adversely affected or even ended because of the dangerous drug Mefloquine, I continue to speak out against the abuse of US troops for illicit and illegal drug trials and human experimentation. I will not be silent until I reach the grave, and then I'll just haunt them. :lol:

Please support the troops not by supporting the wars, but by demanding the truth about human experimentation and loss of life due to shoddy healthcare practices and outright meddling.

As a US military veteran on whom a short 6 year tour of duty made an inordinate psychological impact, I thank you for reading this, and pray that you use the most potent weapon in your arsenal against the dragon of censorship that threatens to disembowel my beloved country: your voice.

One dissenting human voice, even in a whisper, can carry over the noise of war and chaos to inspire millions. If it was not for others who have risked their own well-being in order to blow the whistle and tell the truth about this issue and others, I wouldn't even know enough about it to inform you regarding what is going on.

CNN allows readers, not staff, to report and flag so-called "inappropriate content" in iReports -- this means that trolls and 4Chanesques rule CNN iReport via covert harassment and stalking. Moderators might not even read the content thoroughly before taking it offline. In fact, when writers complain or try to ask questions about why their material has been censored, all they get is an email in SPAM that says the CNN moderators are simply too busy to read our comments.

If CNN writers are too busy for the truth, we should boycott them. I am fairly certain, however, that if Dr. Sanjay Gupta had read about mefloquine in this context, he would not have censored the information, but rather assimilated it.

Why is there such a grievous breakdown and disparity in the manner in which CNN handles news from veterans? Could it be that CNN is making so much money off the continuation of the wars that they don't want to know the truth?

I hope that isn't the case. There are fewer and fewer reliable news outlets lately, and the shocking thing is, services like "Flag this" and "Disqus" reduce a good read to a crawling cesspool in a matter of minutes. Why CNN permits this is mind-boggling -- that is, if you haven't already been forced to check your brain at their door.

12th November 2013, 01:39
CNN doesn't care about soldiers , only ratings ... if is wasn't veterans day would they even run the story ...

12th November 2013, 03:32
CNN doesn't care about soldiers , only ratings ... if is wasn't veterans day would they even run the story ...

I think you're right. Do me a favor, fellow avalonians, and look at the dates below:

We have been unable to determine who wrote the initial report, but generally they’re turned in by physicians or others involved in the case. The document suggests that on March 29, 2012, Roche, Lariam’s maker, received a report that someone involved in the homicide of 17 civilians had been taking mefloquine.

On April 11, Roche forwarded the document on to the FDA, as it is required to do.

Here is the key passage from the much longer document, which has the relevant parts highlighted:

Homicide [REDACTED] A patient of unknown demographics started on mefloquine (therapy details unspecified) for an unknown indication. After an unspecified duration, the patient who was a soldier experienced homicidal behaviour which led to homicidal killing of 17 [REDACTED]. It was reported that the patient was suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and was administered mefloquine against military rule (mefloquine is directly contraindicated in patients with TBI as per [REDACTED] rule).

The report is a summary — not the original report — so important details, beyond those redacted, may be missing. It also does not name Bales. But it’s unlikely there was another Soldier with a traumatic brain injury in this time frame connected to 17 homicides (that was the original number; further investigation concluded 16 people had died).

Read more: A Smoking Pillbox: Evidence that Sgt. Bales May Have Been on Lariam | TIME.com http://nation.time.com/2013/06/20/a-smoking-pillbox-evidence-that-sgt-bales-may-have-been-on-lariam/#ixzz2kOlbWkmx

and this date:

16th December 2012 08:43
Thread: I need advice (my Wordpress blog was removed)
by Bill Ryan Replies
Re: I need advice (my Wordpress blog was removed)

My article alleging Robert Bales' exposure to Mefloquine occurred exactly 3 days before Hoffman laRoche stated they received a confirmed report that a military member had taken the drug then committed a mass murder.


March 26 was my article, followed by the March 29 report received by LaRoche.

p.s. http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=202491.0


**letter to general tacket wv about human experimentation on troops**
« on: February 28, 2011, 01:59:07 PM »

Quote from: pdf_muncher on February 28, 2011, 01:01:15 PM
EDIT: I am actually having some trouble getting this to him lol, as the base changed its email server like twice since time described below, but I actually sent it to a man at WSAZ in hopes that he has contact information. He recently wrote a piece of the General's wife. http://www.wsaz.com/news/headlines/General_Tacketts_Wife_Still_Volunteering_with_the_ Guard_114458769.html. This is what causes me to hope that the General will be open to talking about it, if he thinks it merits attention. Sorry for my bad writing. The formatting here is screwed up too, sorry about that. Letter was neater.

TO: General Allen Tackett, WVNG, Ret. 2/28/2011
RE: 2004 Mefloquine human drug trials in Uzbekistan affecting 130th AW troops

Dear General Tackett:

Hello from way across the country, and congratulations on your recent retirement! The press release regarding the latter is the first thing that shows up when people try to get in touch with you, so of course I saw it! It's happy and sad at the same time, of course, when wonderful, sincere people retire. We saw a lot of that at the 130th when I was there.
You may not remember me, as I wasn't with the unit very long, but I was one of the younger females in Maintenance Group, working under Charlie Gobble and Leonard Dyer on the hill at the 130th/Yeager. I joined in 2003 and deployed to SWA in 2004 to replace someone in my shop who became ill (mentally in fact, along with fatigue and weight gain). I never made Staff Sergeant, as there was likely some doubt as to my level of ability and commitment, and perhaps even some sexism going on, but for a while I did intend to re-enlist (perhaps to crosstrain).

I think the last time I saw you, Sir, or close to it, was at the gas station near the capitol building. You smiled and waved at me when you got out of your SUV. It was very neat to get to see someone so important, yet so down to earth and sincere, up close! Better yet, the presentation with Senator Byrd regarding Base Re-allocation and Closure. Although I didn't understand the level of disloyalty to the people within our country's leadership at that time, I saw what you did as a patriotic and original thing, and very much enjoyed viewing the destruction of the BRAC report document below the podium occupied by the Senator. Surely that was one of our WVNG's proudest days. Fighting the uphill paperwork and political battle on home soil that waited for us when we were done serving our country. And yet, Sir, as you are by now undoubtedly aware, that was not the worst act of sabotage against the fine people of West Virginia during OIF/OEF. What I am about to share with you, I have no idea if someone else has already drawn to your attention. I hope that it has been, but since there has been no word from anyone on this matter, I thought that I should send you a letter detailing my concerns in as short and concise a manner as possible. You served this country 4 decades or more, and deserve to be informed regarding how other commands treated your personnel during the war.

Now that the re-introduction is over, although it brought back many fine memories of the 130th and WVNG/ANG, I will enumerate my findings:

Members of my former unit, the 130th AW, served in Kuwait in the early summer of 2004. If memory serves, after serving approximately one month in Kuwait, we were moved to Karshi Khanabad (K2) in eastern Uzbekistan, an abandoned Soviet base occupied and run by the U.S. Army until American forces were asked to depart the country in 2006, if I understand things correctly. While at K2, members of the 130th AW were restricted from leaving the base; we were told at the time that this was due to local politics and true concerns for safety outside our perimeter. It did not seem to be such a big deal, as there was plenty to do if one chose to be social or exercise. However, there were concerns at the time about the cleanliness of the local environment, the placement of troop temporary housing, and the grade of the decontamination job which had been accomplished prior to setting up American equipment on it. We were also advised about mosquitoes carrying diseases such as malaria, and ordered to avoid mosquitoes by wearing long sleeves at night, remaining in uniform when possible, and retreating indoors when swarms were present. Most people did comply with these orders, but to be honest, many nights there were few or no mosquitoes. Also, the only source of mosquito larvae in sight of housing at the time was a small water-filled dirt-embanked pit near a perimeter wall, which should have been covered or filled by contractors but was left mysteriously open.

Due to this situation, the troops of the 130th and presumably the Army personnel as well, were put in a position to believe that they were at risk for malaria. The 130th members were actually lined up prior to departure during the weeks I was there, and made to sign medical waivers at the medical building to the effect that "we had not been exposed to harmful elements" at K2. This was made mandatory and key to outprocessing. Next, we 130th members were taken to Command HQ and put in a circle of chairs. We were given ziploc bags containing two types of pills, and were told that they were Mefloquine (Lariam) and Doxycycline in 15 day doses.
Here is a brief description of Lariam:

"Lariam (mefloquine hydrochloride) is an antimalarial agent available as 250-mg tablets of mefloquine hydrochloride (equivalent to 228.0 mg of the free base) for oral administration.
Mefloquine hydrochloride is a 4-quinolinemethanol derivative with the specific chemical name of (R*, S*)-(±)-α-2-piperidinyl-2,8-bis (trifluoromethyl)-4- quinolinemethanol hydrochloride. It is a 2-aryl substituted chemical structural analog of quinine. The drug is a white to almost white crystalline compound, slightly soluble in water."

Here is a brief statement on modern malaria treatment:

"More recently, P. falciparum has evolved in response to human interventions. Most strains of malaria can be treated with chloroquine, but P. falciparum has developed resistance to this treatment. A combination of quinine and tetracycline has also been used, but there are strains of P. falciparum that have grown resistant to this treatment as well. Different strains of P. falciparum have grown resistant to different treatments. Often the resistance of the strain depends on where it was contracted. Many cases of malaria that come from parts of the Caribbean and west of the Panama Canal as well as the Middle East and Egypt can often be treated with chloroquine, since they have not yet developed resistance. Nearly all cases contracted in Africa, India, and southeast Asia have grown resistant to this medication and there have been cases in Thailand and Cambodia in which the strain has been resistant to nearly all treatments. Often the strain grows resistant to the treatment in areas where the use is not as tightly regulated."

The 15 day dose of Mefloquine given to 130th AW troops, in conjunction with the Doxcycline, was not standard:
"Treatment of Acute Malaria Infections
Lariam is indicated for the treatment of mild to moderate acute malaria caused by mefloquine-susceptible strains of P. falciparum (both chloroquine-susceptible and resistant strains) or by Plasmodium vivax. There are insufficient clinical data to document the effect of mefloquine in malaria caused by P. ovale or P. malariae.

Note: Patients with acute P. vivax malaria, treated with Lariam, are at high risk of relapse because Lariam does not eliminate exoerythrocytic (hepatic phase) parasites. To avoid relapse, after initial treatment of the acute infection with Lariam, patients should subsequently be treated with an 8-aminoquinoline derivative (eg, primaquine).
Prevention of Malaria
Lariam is indicated for the prophylaxis of P. falciparum and P. vivax malaria infections, including prophylaxis of chloroquine-resistant strains of P. falciparum."

This next bit is extremely important to the point of this letter and what I said above the previous quoted material:

"Malaria Prophylaxis
One 250 mg Lariam tablet once weekly.
Prophylactic drug administration should begin 1 week before arrival in an endemic area. Subsequent weekly doses should be taken regularly, always on the same day of each week, preferably after the main meal. To reduce the risk of malaria after leaving an endemic area, prophylaxis must be continued for 4 additional weeks to ensure suppressive blood levels of the drug when merozoites emerge from the liver. Tablets should not be taken on an empty stomach and should be administered with at least 8 oz (240 mL) of water.
In certain cases, eg, when a traveler is taking other medication, it may be desirable to start prophylaxis 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure, in order to ensure that the combination of drugs is well tolerated."

Not only did we receive a far shorter dose than recommended, it was in greater concentration than is safe. This might mean that by taking this drug in such a way, we increased the ability of malaria strains local to K2 to resist common medications. This could have little impact on the local populace, but it was not a wise or friendly thing to do to the people of Uzbekistan, and ordering it was a disrespect to those serving in the U.S. Military.

What you should know further, Sir, is that Lariam was determined in 2006 by Walter Reed Army Institute of Research to have caused brain stem damage in rats in lesser concentrations than commonly occur in human brain tissue. It is said that this drug was in fact implicated in psychotic behavior of U.S. troops in Somalia, and was later used in conjunction with waterboarding and other forms of torturous interrogation at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, against prisoners held there by the United States. This fact was brought before U.S. Congress prior to 130th personnel being moved to K2 in 2004, yet we still received experimental doses of this dangerous, barely-effective, synthetic and insufficiently-tested drug, which has a history of association with traumatic brain injury (TMI), sometimes implicated in post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), and can no longer definitively kill . If you do not mind, Sir, I will quote Jeffrey Kaye, who wrote about this in 2002 and again in 2011:

"This further investigation may throw light upon the Guantanamo SOP wherein all detainees were subjected to a never-before-attempted use of mass administration of treatment doses of the controversial anti-malaria drug mefloquine (Lariam), as also reported in a special investigation by Jason Leopold and myself last December. The scandal was also the subject of an independent investigatory report published at the same time by Seton Hall University Law School’s Center for Policy and Research.
In a 2002 report on mefloquine adverse events, “Unexpected frequency, duration and spectrum of adverse events after therapeutic dose of mefloquine in healthy adults,” published in top medical journal Acta Tropica, it was noted that 73% of the participants suffered “severe (grade 3) vertigo …” which “required bed rest and specific medication for 1 to 4 days.” Nevertheless, DoD maintains that the use of mefloquine was for public health purposes, to prevent malaria from spreading in Cuba. But as our investigation showed, talking with military medical experts, and examining other military responses to malaria threat, including in Cuba, no such use of such mass treatment doses, with its attendant dangers, was ever used or even proposed. Nor did DoD medical officers at Guantanamo demand the same protocols be used on foreign workers from malarial areas brought into the camp at this same time to work on building Camp Delta and other facilities at the naval base. The workers were employed by Kellogg Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton."

At this point I will note that Kellogg Brown and Root contractors were present at K2 during the 130th's deployments there in 2004, and it should be discovered whether or not these men were advised to administer malarial prophylaxis drugs as well.

General Tackett, I will now share an excerpt from the public domain website Wikipedia.org regarding the nature of Mefloquine (Lariam):

...Mefloquine may have severe and permanent adverse side effects. It is known to cause severe depression, anxiety, paranoia, aggression, nightmares, insomnia, seizures, birth defects,[citation needed] peripheral motor-sensory neuropathy,[4] vestibular (balance) damage and central nervous system problems.[5] Central nervous system events occur in up to 25% of people taking Lariam, such as dizziness, headache, insomnia, and vivid dreams.[6] A This American Life broadcast entitled "Contents Unknown" tells the story of an American who lost his memory while working in India as a result of mefloquine prophylaxis.[7]
...Mefloquine was invented at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) in the 1970s. WRAIR has published several papers outlining efforts at that institution to make mefloquine safer by producing a drug composed of only the (+)-enantiomer.
"Adverse central nervous system (CNS) events have been associated with mefloquine use. Severe CNS events requiring hospitalization (e.g., seizures and hallucinations) occur in 1:10,000 patients taking mefloquine for chemoprophylaxis. However, milder CNS events (e.g., dizziness, headache, insomnia, and vivid dreams) are more frequently observed, occurring in up to 25% of patients."[10]
WRAIR defines the neurotoxicity of mefloquine to be 25 µM from table 1 ref.[10]
"We recently showed that mefloquine severely disrupts calcium homeostasis in rat neurons in vitro at concentrations in excess of 20 µM, an effect closely related to the acute neurotoxicity of the drug in terms of dose effect and kinetics."[10]
"However, the drug crosses the blood-brain barrier and accumulates as much as 30- fold in the central nervous system, and mefloquine brain concentrations as high as 50 µM have been reported in human postmortem cases. Mefloquine brain concentrations as high as 90 µM have been reported in rats given a therapy- equivalent dose rate, with concentrations in subcompartments in the brain exceeding 100 µM. Since it has long been known that a prolonged disruption of neuronal calcium homeostasis may lead to neuronal cell death and injury, it is reasonable to suppose that such events may contribute to the clinical neuropathy of the drug."[10]
In addition, WRAIR published the following in March 2006 regarding treatment-level brain-stem damage in rats:
It states:
1. "At the time this study was conceived, no formal FDA guidelines for neurotoxicity testing existed. In contrast, first-tier neurological screens, such as those recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are often employed to detect a broad range of possible neurological effects that may be induced by uncharacterized test compounds."[11]
The FDA "approval" process in 1970 did not require safety testing for neurotoxicity, since no protocol existed at the time. Evidence suggests that it still does not exist, since the Walter Reed researchers had to use a test protocol from the EPA to write this paper.
2. "It is also important to point out that the mefloquine-induced brain-stem injury revealed by silver staining is permanent in nature."[11]

Thank you for reading all of that. Now, we both share the same information regarding why mefloquine is dangerous, the fact that this was known by enough people in 2004 to prevent it from being administered to the troops, why it should not have been given to 130th Airlift Wing Personnel or anyone deployed with us, and some of the people who knew about this conflict of interest yet decided to act contrary to the interest of public health, and the mental fitness of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Along with the Anthrax vaccine and letter scandal, the smallpox vaccine, the re-administration of dangerous childhood vaccines to all troops entering basic military training, the H1N1 stupidity, seasonal flu shots, exposure to depleted uranium and other toxins, and undocumented human medical experimentation of other kinds, the 130th Airlift Wing has endured many blows over the last decade. In the very brief time I was there, I personally beheld the physical and mental decline of many people. I heard people complain of vaccine reactions, and describe reactions to drugs administered in SWA. I saw people's personalities change, overheard talk of suicide and violence from some troops (rarer in the Air Force but not unheard of!), and even saw people lose their jobs over inappropriate behavior following deployment to K2 and other areas.

Will we ever be able to prove that the state of their health bears relation to drug trials being performed without the knowledge of personnel? Does this information raise further questions, regarding the possibility of further trials, including biological warfare and germ research, including controversial mycoplasma experimentation (which bears relation to the Gulf of Mexico disaster and further exposures of National Guardsmen to harmful chemicals and microbes)? Is there a common factor linking the illness of so many returning veterans and robbing them of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? I believe that all of these possibilities merit a thorough checking, because they affect the existence of people we love and served beside.

...General Tackett, thank you so very much for reading this letter, and for fighting so hard for the people of West Virginia. The battle never ends. I pray that those within the military possessing the wherewithal to understand modern technology and current events visualize a clear course of action, and remain faithful to the Constitution of the United States of America and to its people.

With sincerity and hope,

SrA XXXXXX XXXXXX, Former GAC Technician 130 AW Charleston, WV

13th November 2013, 23:59
CNN's reply to a censored veteran written by bot:

Hello guys, CNN's crony wrote back to me,
and all he said was "TOS violation", and "please read our TOS".

Total cop-out, no specifics, Title V censorship.

Hi Rachel,

Thanks for contacting CNN. This iReport was removed as it was in violation of our Terms of Use.
For more information on our TOU, please see:

CNN.com Tech Support
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/teamcnn
Follow us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/cnn

original complaint:


-----Original Message-----

Sent: Monday, November 11, 2013 6:41 PM
To: CNN.Support.Communications
Subject: iReport Questions

I need to know immediately why iReport http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1059762 was removed from your website within mere minutes of its publication. How dare CNN censor my material when it is factual and based on my own military experience?


Name: rachel

30th November 2013, 19:13
CNN won't report on the Mefloquine story directly, but they gave me some ammo without meaning to recently. You'll see what I mean down below.
I hate giving publicity to Bill Gates, but since his money is supporting the use of dangerous (recalled!) drugs on unsuspecting Africans,
I thought you guys should see this:

Gates Tax Shelter Pushing Dirty Mefloquine Drug on Unsuspecting Africans, Ignores Common Knowledge of Danger


Bill Gates: Where to put the smart money to end AIDS
By Bill Gates
updated 1:01 PM EST, Fri November 29, 2013

On World AIDS Day, December 1, we have an opportunity to make Florence's story a reality for more families by supporting an organization that is helping developing countries respond to three of the world's biggest health challenges -- the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.


SEARCH: Mefloquine

FOUND: Artesunate + Mefloquine (Co-Blistered)
200 mg + 250 mg


Mefloquine: The Military's Suicide Pill
Posted: 09/25/2013 10:57 am

In late July, 2013, the FDA issued a powerful "black box" safety warning for a drug which has been taken by hundreds of thousands of troops to prevent malaria. The drug is called mefloquine, and it was previously sold in the U.S. by F. Hoffman-La Roche under the trade name Lariam. Since being developed by the U.S. military over four decades ago, mefloquine has been widely used by troops on deployments in Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan.

We now recognize, decades too late, that mefloquine is neurotoxic and can cause lasting injury to the brainstem and emotional centers in the limbic system. As a result of its toxic effects, the drug is quickly becoming the "Agent Orange" of this generation, linked to a growing list of lasting neurological and psychiatric problems including suicide.

as of 2004 everyone KNEW mefloquine was dangerous:


For years the main choices have been mefloquine (Lariam) or doxycycline. But the former can cause vivid dreams and has other central-nervous-system effects, and the latter can cause gastrointestinal problems.

Malarone and primaquine are newer drugs that work against both stages of the parasite. Several studies show Malarone prevents more than 90 percent of P. falciparum malarial infections and nearly that much of another common strain. But they're newer and more expensive, and not all insurers cover them.

30th November 2013, 19:19
You want it to be stopped, go to democrats.com digg.com Daily Kos. Sign in, it's free, and then do like 2008, and spread the word to people who care and will back it up.

Bernie Sanders, comes to mind.

11th January 2014, 11:24


Report: Suicide Rate Soars Among Young Vets

The number of male veterans under 30 ending their own lives jumps by 44 percent in two years

By Denver Nicks @DenverNicksJan. 10, 2014

Read more: Suicide Rate Soars For Young Vets | TIME.com http://swampland.time.com/2014/01/10/report-suicide-rate-soars-among-young-vets/#ixzz2q5WiHS4i

The number of male veterans under the age of 30 who commit suicide jumped by 44 percent between 2009 and 2011, the most recent year for which data was available, according to numbers released Thursday by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Roughly two young veterans a day commit suicide.

Suicide rates for female vets also increased by 11 percent between 2009 and 2011. The suicide rate among veterans remains well above that for the general population, with roughly 22 former servicemen and women committing suicide every day.

The troubling spike in suicide rates among younger vets comes as overall suicide rates for people using the Veterans Health Administration have held relatively steady in recent years. Suicide rates among older veterans decreased 16.1 percent between 1999 and 2010, while the overall population of older U.S. males ages saw a 27.3 percent increase in the rate of suicide over the same period.

The leap in rates for the youngest vets has officials especially worried, Stars and Stripes reports. The cause of the increase remains unclear, but officials searching for reasons point to post-traumatic stress disorder, combat injuries and the difficulties young veterans face in re-entering civilian life.

“Their rates are astronomically high and climbing,” Jan Kemp, the VA’s National Mental Health Director for Suicide Prevention, told Stars and Stripes. “That’s concerning us.”

[Stars and Stripes]

11th January 2014, 11:28

Mefloquine: The Military's Suicide Pill
Posted: 09/25/2013 10:57 am

In late July, 2013, the FDA issued a powerful "black box" safety warning for a drug which has been taken by hundreds of thousands of troops to prevent malaria. The drug is called mefloquine, and it was previously sold in the U.S. by F. Hoffman-La Roche under the trade name Lariam. Since being developed by the U.S. military over four decades ago, mefloquine has been widely used by troops on deployments in Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan.

We now recognize, decades too late, that mefloquine is neurotoxic and can cause lasting injury to the brainstem and emotional centers in the limbic system. As a result of its toxic effects, the drug is quickly becoming the "Agent Orange" of this generation, linked to a growing list of lasting neurological and psychiatric problems including suicide.


Presse Med. 2006 May;35(5 Pt 1):789-92.
[Spectacular suicide associated with mefloquine].
[Article in French]
Jousset N, Guilleux M, de Gentile L, Le Bouil A, Turcant A, Rougé-Maillart C.
Author information


We present a case in which suicide was a severe neuropsychiatric reaction to treatment with mefloquine. Physicians must be aware of these serious psychiatric complications and bear them in mind when faced with atypical behavior or suspected suicide.

The body of a 27-year-old man was discovered at his home, covered with multiple knife wounds. The autopsy report concluded that death was due to a craniocerebral wound from a violent blow. Homicide was initially suspected. Suicide during acute psychosis associated with mefloquine was suggested, and toxicologic analyses confirmed this hypothesis.

Serious neurologic and psychiatric adverse events associated with mefloquine (Lariam) have been reported since its introduction in 1985. Mefloquine prophylaxis is recommended for travelers to high-risk areas of chloroquine-resistant plasmodium falciparum. The risk of malarial infection and the proven efficacy of mefloquine to prevent malaria should be weighed against the risk of drug-associated adverse events. Physicians must nonetheless be aware of these serious psychiatric complications, especially when faced with atypical behavior and atypical suicides. The patient's' family and friends should be asked about a possible trips abroad that might have entailed antimalaria treatment, even several months earlier. Testing for mefloquine during toxicological examinations is then essential. The World Health Organization recommendations and contraindications must be followed in prescribing mefloquine.

PMID: 16710147 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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