Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Defence, Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD, has called for an immediate review of the use of lariam as an anti-malaria drug by the Defence Forces.
Deputy Ó Fearghaíl raised this issue in the Dáil yesterday and expressed his concern about the link between lariam and higher incidents of depression and even suicide.
“There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that the use of lariam can lead to depression, psychotic incidents and even suicide. Soldiers in the Irish Defence Forces deployed to sub-Saharan Africa are administered with lariam.
“I am calling on the Irish Defence Forces, the Irish Medicines Board (IMB) and the Government to seriously consider withdrawing lariam as a preventative drug for malaria and to use an alternative. The continued use of lariam is a matter of great concern amid a growing body of evidence from here and aboard about the side-effects of the drug.
“A recent Prime-Time programme also found higher incidences of suicide in soldiers or Defence Forces personnel returning from overseas duty and these must be investigated.
“We need a full and frank debate about the use of lariam and I believe an alternative anti-malarial drug should be used.”