If They Can Remove Lariam From The Irish Market… Then Why Not Remove Seroxat?…

Seroxat, is arguably, more controversial than Lariam, and also caused similar psychiatric side effects such as suicide, etc. They remove Lariam, yet keep Seroxat on the market…why?

Note also that it was Roche (the manufacturer of lariam) who chose to remove the drug- not the Irish authorities…

-thanks to Examining Medicine for this point–





Controversial drug Lariam removed from sale

Friday 16 September 2016 16.56

Lariam's acknowledged side effects can be very severe and include anxiety, depression, paranoia and suicidal behaviour
Lariam’s acknowledged side effects can be very severe and include anxiety, depression, paranoia and suicidal behaviour

A drug at the centre of a number of legal actions against the State by members of the Defence Forces has been withdrawn from sale in Ireland.

It has emerged Lariam, an anti-malarial drug, was taken off the market at the end of July.

For many years Lariam was given to Irish Defence Forces personnel deployed to missions in sub-Saharan Africa to prevent the life-threatneing illness.

Lariam’s acknowledged side effects can be very severe and include anxiety, depression, paranoia and suicidal behaviour.

Fifty serving or former members of the Defence Forces have lodged claims against the State having been given the drug.

Legal proceedings have been served in 37 cases.

It has emerged that the drug manufacturer Roche took Lariam off the market in this country on 31 July. It remains available in other jurisdictions.

A spokesperson for the company said the decision followed a review of the products it offers here and was not related in any way to pending legal actions.

The company says Lariam was taken off sale following “a portfolio reassessment” by the company and three other products have also been discontinued.

They also point out that it remains available in 16 European countries.

The decision to withdraw Lariam ( which is also known as Mefloquine) from sale has been welcomed by some of those who allege they suffer from side-effects but they want assurances it will no longer be used by the Defence Forces.

Anthony Moore, who curates the Action Lariam Group for Irish Soldiers Facebook page, says they have asked the Defence Forces to take it off and will continue to do so.

Mr Moore is a former naval diver and soldier who served on numerous missions abroad.

A  Department of Defence statement said the Defence Forces were made aware by Roche Products Ltd that Lariam was being taken off the Irish market but the drug is still available to them via two main wholesalers.

The statement says there are no plans to withdraw Lariam from the range of anti-malarial medications they use.

The statement points out the health and welfare of Defence Forces members is of the highest priority and significant precautions are taken by medical officers in assessing the medical suitability of members to take any anti-malarial medications.

Meanwhile a Department of Defence working group initially set up in 2011 and reconvened in 2013 is continuing to examine all issues surrounding the use of the drug.




  1. Eve Sounder

    Note that Roche did it, not the government. They will have done it because they believe they will lose lawsuits, given general sympathy for military personnel, and the ability of military personnel to prove with their service records that they were not psychotic and did not have underlying psychosis before they were made to take Lariam.

    If Lariam were routinely administered to teens in juvenile detention, it might not be so clear-cut. After all, they had pre-existing behavioral problems, and are probably malingering.

    • truthman30

      brilliant points Eve.. you hit the nail on the head- of course Roche will deny that they pulled it because of lawsuits or that it is dangerous of defective.. If this was an anti-depressant- they’d likely get away with it- very easy to blame the psychiatric side effects on ‘mentally’ ill patients eh?..

  2. Nick

    Because seroxat and its generics only effect a small number of individuals similar to how each SSRI and SNRI effect small numbers of people.

    You might as well say why not remove all of them.

    It would be unfair because Seroxat does help people and many do not have any issues.

    I respect that you had severe side effects to Paroxetine, but it wouldn’t be fair to take this away from those who benefit from it.

    Pharmacies mostly have generic Paroxetine now. Its rare to be given Seroxat branded Paroxetine these days on NHS prescriptions. Over the last year, several generic makers have produced there own generic version of Seroxat and one of these companies is Morningside healthcare.

    The generic version is around £11 cheaper than Seroxat for a 28 day 20mg pack.

    Generics contain allsorts of crap amongst the active ingredient. Some generic versions of medications I’ve seen contain gelatine,sunset yellow and Gluten containing ingredients.

    • truthman30

      Nick- Can you please back up your view that ‘Seroxat and its generics only effect a small number of individuals similar to how each SSRI and SNRI effect small numbers of people’? I find this view of yours interesting because it’s a very general statement to make. What is this small number of people? Is it one in ten? Is it one in 100? is it 1 in 5? If it’s one in 5- what kind of side effects can that one in 5 experience that are acceptable in terms of tolerablility? Is suicide an acceptable side effect? is akathisa an acceptable side effect? Even if we say that one in one hundred will experience akathsia leading to suicidal thoughts? is that acceptable? and if so who is informing the public about this? are doctors adequately monitoring the so called ‘small number’ which you so generally describe? How do doctors monitor this ‘small number’even when they are properly identified? Can they really be properly identified? can they really be properly monitored by GPs?

      Which SSRI’s and SNRI’s don’t have issues? as you say…
      Can you identify them and back that sweeping statement up please?

      You talk about generics having sunset yellow etc, well the Seroxat I took (branded not generic) has sunset yellow, so what is your point exactly about generics?
      Can you direct me to the people who you say Seroxat helped?


  3. Nick

    I’ve been fine on Seroxat. Its funny because all the symptoms you’ve listed, I experienced in Sertraline and Citalopram.

    Everybody reacts differently to different medications.

    Paroxetine and Venlafaxine are the only ones that didn’t cause me to have severe side effects and actually allow me to go back to work full time and get on with my life. I did put a lot of weight on with Paroxetine but it has helped me a lot.

    Other medications I’ve used with no luck:


    All of the ones I’ve taken except Paroxetine and venlafaxine made me really sleepy and made me feel really worthless.

    When I talk about small number of people, I was referring to say 1 million people, out of that, I estimate around 20,000 will experience some severe or discomforting side effect and my own recommendation would be for someone experiencing bad side effects to get off it as soon as possible and switch to something else.

    When I switched to Venlafaxine because of the weight gain worries, I switched as soon as I got the prescription and had no withdrawal from Paroxetine, if I stopped taking Paroxetine abruptly without using another medication, I’m sure the withdrawals would kick in. Previously the head zaps and weakness and body aches and pains lasted a week and disappeared completely after 2 weeks when stopping Paroxetine.

    My advice is never stop any of these medications abruptly without tapering or replacing them with something else.

    Bad side effects is the bodies natural way of saying it doesn’t like this substance. Its like having a nut allergy and continuing to consume foods containing nuts.

    The NHS is a total shambles when I comes to advice on psychotropic drugs, each doctor gives different advice and can seem contradictory. There is also no official regime of withdrawing people off psychotropic drugs and this is very unhelpful and can leave people stuck on them when they no longer need them, patients can get repeat prescriptions for months on end without being monitored and this is where problems arise as bad side effects such as unusual and disturbing behaviour cannot be spotted and goes unnoticed.

    I have no family around and live alone so I engage with my GP purposely because of the fact its not always easy to see behavioural changes in yourself but easy for others to spot them and I’m now satisfied with the level of support I am getting rather than being just dumped on pills forever.

    Now when I said I respect that you had severe problems with Paroxetine, I really do mean that and im sorry the system let you down and that the medication did more harm than good, however I stand my ground that it shouldn’t be taken away BUT all these drugs should be prescribed with a lot more caution and more engagement between patient and GP and more investment in other therapies on the NHS such as CBT which has extremely long waiting lists.

    There are many complaints by people for all of the psychotropic drugs and when the Department for health do consultations and studies, they amount to nothing, whilst they agree that some people have bad side effects, they all still help millions of people. So looking outside the box, for those who do end up with severe or permanent issues, they need to invest in support with this and should be cross pharmaceutical industry funded, if they all chipped in, the costs to the industry would be pennies but at least there would be an NHS support service to fall back on.

      • Nick

        I know they won’t solve everything but they were a good start off. Past few years I’ve been working,seeing friends and able to do normal stuff. Exercise,balanced diet and talking therapy also helps and not drinking.

        There are some people that believe a pill will sort out all there problems, however finding the causes and improving to day to day physical health plays a big part.

        If it wasn’t for the medication, I would probably be locked up in a unit. Nobody was able to get through to me and I just couldn’t see how bad I was. But somehow they helped kick-start everything. That’s why I believe the ‘chemical imbalance theory’ may actually be fact for some people. Depression and psychosis is a funny illness as they are mainly symptoms of underlying issues and its hard to identify them.

      • truthman30

        I disagree, I’m sorry, but I do. How do you know that you would be ‘locked up in a unit’ of you were off the pills? You don’t know that for sure, but the fear of it keeps you taking pills. Do people have alcohol imbalances? or MDMA imbalances? No… they don’t but these substances are used (and abused) as ways to help people cope with pain, to escape their problems, or as crutches are they not? (particularly alcohol) so who’s to say why not prescribe alcohol? that works on biology does it not? Even if there is low serotonin or low dopamine levels in cases of depression etc, these are the body’s response to create the mood- but the trigger comes from outside the body (the psycho-social environment usually) so it doesn’t really matter if the ‘chemical imbalance theory is fact for some people’ because if anger is triggered in someone they produce cortisol, adrenaline etc, because the body is producing the emotion to match the reaction. When you’re happy, or loved, or nurtured, your body releases dopamine etc- so as to manifest the feeling of something feeling good etc- but the stimuli comes from outside the body again. It’s the same with depression etc- you get sad, you’re unhappy, you’re down about something in your life, something external, that affects you- your body creates the feeling to match the reaction (yes there are neuro-receptors and much more involved). I have always said some psych drugs can be useful in the very short term, in certain cases, monitored carefully and with therapy…. I am not anti-pharma drugs, I am anti-pharma lies though… and they are still lying about the serious side effects of these drugs….

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