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A drug at the centre of a number of legal actions against the State by members of the Defence Forces has been withdrawn from sale in Ireland.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