I’d like to hear from you if you’ve taken mefloquine
A few days ago in a courthouse in Ireland, another former soldier from the Irish Defense Forces agreed to an undisclosed settlement with the government, after he sued them for damages caused as a result of taking the anti-malarial drug mefloquine, sold under the brand name Lariam. He had been ordered to take the drug during three UN deployments in Africa between 2001 and 2009, and as a result, he was left with symptoms that would become debilitating such as anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, loss of balance, vertigo, and memory problems.
Patrick Fedigan launched his suit claiming negligence and breach of duty. Fedigan claimed that his complete medical history was not taken prior to being prescribed the drug, and that he was an unsuitable candidate for it. He also went on to claim that when his symptoms began to appear, nothing was done to treat or support him, as well as failing to provide him with a safe system of working, and exposing him to the risk of injury.
Starting in 1992 with 2 CDO, Canadian Forces personnel heading into malaria zones were given mefloquine both for the treatment and the prophylaxis of the tropical disease. At the time, mefloquine wasn’t approved for public use in Canada, and was only available if were to be used in a clinical trial.
There were no trials done, no monitoring for adverse effects, no testing or tracking of any kind were performed. The men were simply given their pill every Tuesday, and they knew that it wouldn’t be long before it started all over again. They too would have the same side effects as Fedigan, but there were other side effects as well, including sudden severe headache, seizures, psychosis, paranoid delusions, severe tinnitus, and numbness or tingling of the extremities, among others.
There is very little doubt in my mind, or on the minds of many others, that were it not for mefloquine, 2 Somali teens would be alive today, and a lot of the guys who were on that tour would have much different lives than the ones they have today. I’m thinking of two in particular, MCpl Clayton Matchee and Tpr Kyle Brown. These two guys were the faces of that mission in the media, and as such have had a LOT of scorn put upon them over the years. They did not deserve that, and the time has come to set the record straight.
It is time that Canadian’s hear the truth, and it’s about damn time that we restored the reputations of Clayton Matchee, Kyle Brown, the rest of those in 2 CDO, and the Airborne Regiment itself.
I Want To Hear Your Story
To that end, I’d like to hear your story. I would like to hear from any Canadian Forces veterans who have taken mefloquine, as well as from their families. I know that many of you have already done this many times and I have read and heard much of the testimonies that I could find online, but I’d like to hear them directly from you. I plan on saving them all so that they can be posted in a single repository that I’m calling Mefloquine Stories. You can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a mefloquine vet and have been diagnosed with PTSD, I would urge to to get in touch with some guys and tell them what’s going on with you. There’s a better than likely chance that there’s more going on than just PTSD and they will tell you all about it themselves.
If you are friends or family with a mefloquine vet, you can reach out to these people too because they will be an immense source of information for you, as well as being some of the best people you will ever hope to meet.
-Shaun Arntsen on Facebook who also goes by the Twitter handle mefloquine cowboy @MefloquineC
-Dave Bona on Facebook
-Marj Matchee on Facebook and on Twitter @thesass
-Mefloquine Trooper on Facebook and on Twitter @Mefeloquine1Cdo
-Veterans Mefloquine Rally on Facebook