Monday, November 21, 2011

Army drops use of anti-malarial drug

From the source below. The news today is that the Army will stop using Mefloquine. Mefloquine is used to treat malaria (a serious infection that is spread by mosquitoes in certain parts of the world and can cause death) and to prevent malaria in travelers who visit areas where malaria is common. Mefloquine is in a class of medications called antimalarials. It works by killing the organisms that cause malaria.

From the article:

Mefloquine is a zombie drug. It’s dangerous, and it should have been killed off years ago,” said Dr. Remington Nevin, an epidemiologist and Army major who has published research that he said showed the drug can be potentially toxic to the brain. He believes the drop in prescriptions is a tacit acknowledgement of the drug’s serious problems.
Over the past three years, the Army slashed by almost 75 percent the amount of mefloquine it prescribes, even as it sent thousands more soldiers to malaria-prone Afghanistan.
The decrease in doses followed two orders from military and Pentagon leaders in 2009. One, from the Army’s surgeon general, ordered the branch to limit its use to specific circumstances. Other branches, however, continue to favor mefloquine.