The Afghan Massacre: Lariam’s Rise and Fall

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Since my first post March 20 about the possibility that Staff Sergeant Robert Bales may have been on the anti-malaria drug Lariam (mefloquine), I have received many comments and e-mails on the issue. Bales has been charged with murdering 17 Afghan civilians last month outside Kandahar.

There is a lot more in the literature since a 2004 talk I gave on the neuropsychiatric effects of the medication. There followed a flood of anecdotal information and articles in the media, but rigorous scientific literature was limited. Here’s an important exception:

A Lesson learnt: the rise and fall of Lariam and Halfan, by Ashley Croft, which appeared in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine in 2007.

I have also received e-mails which talk of other cases of service members damaged by Lariam. I am not on a position to opine on these, yet. But I feel like the hornets’ nest has been kicked, and what flies out may be deadly.