Defence Questions – Lariam

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Clare asks the Minister why Lariam continues to be the first-line drug of choice for Irish Defence Forces serving in Sub-Saharan Africa, given the high risk of serious, permanent neuropsychiatric side-effects being experienced by those who take the drug. Side-effects include depression, anxiety, hallucinations, psychosis, and sleep disturbance. Lariam is a third-line, drug of last resort for US troops serving in the same region, one which is only issued if other anti-malarials aren’t tolerated by an individual for some reason, because of the severity and permanence of its side-effects.