Military.com is carrying a UPI story that the Pentagon has changed course
and will now investigate whether there is a link between suicides in Iraq and Lariam (an anti-malaria medication in use by soldiers in Iraq):
The Pentagon reversed course Wednesday and told Congress it would look into whether an anti-malaria drug developed by the Army might be causing suicides, one month after asserting the drug could not be a factor.
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr. told a House Armed Services Committee panel he would launch a study into side effects of Lariam, "to include suicide and neuropsychiatric outcomes."
When asked about the suicide investigation late last month, Army spokeswoman Martha Rudd said the Pentagon would not consider Lariam. "We don't believe there is any connection between Lariam and suicide," Rudd said. "There is nothing to indicate that is a factor."
Developed by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Lariam, known generically as mefloquine, is one drug used by soldiers in Iraq to prevent malaria, which is of particular concern in hot summer months. The Food and Drug Administration warns that Lariam can cause psychosis, aggression, paranoia, depression and thoughts of suicide. The FDA also warns of rare reports of suicide among Lariam users, although it says a link has not been established.
Great. Like it wasn't already dangerous enough for soldiers stationed in Iraq....
Here's the article in its entirety.