In the year 2000, John O’Callaghan, a 29-year-old Australian who became mentally ill after taking Lariam during a surfing trip to Indonesia, wrote in his suicide note: “Since [Lariam] first blew my brains apart… I have never been the same, always dazed and confused, always physically sick. I never thought this could happen to me. Sorry mum, dad.”
In 2001, 27 years old Malcolm Edge, an irish student was found hanging in a hotel room in Vietnam after suffering a paranoia attack apparently brought on by a combination of Lariam and alcohol.
In 2002 four US soldiers from Ft. Bragg were accused of killing their wives. Two of the men died by suicide. So many brutal crimes, so similar, so close in time – raised questions, and the army sent a team to investigate. One possible suspect was mefloquine (Lariam), an anti-malarial drug, routinely given to soldiers deployed overseas.
“It was confusion, it was disorientation, it was anxiety and panic attacks,” says Dr Paul Clarke, an infectious Disease specialist. “There were episodes in which people were clearly divorced from reality and indeed had unusual symptoms that could be described as psychotic.”
Lariam (generic name: Mefloquin) was invented by the US army. It is manufactured by Roche which constantly manipulates numbers and words to misinform doctors and public. It claimed that the incidence of psychiatric side effects was as small as 1:10,000. However Dr Clarke’s research showed that it was as high as 1:140.
Beware: Lariam can make you lose your mind.