Canadian soldiers will soon be deployed on a peacekeeping mission in Africa and among the anti-malaria medications being made available is a drug called mefloquine. Of the three malaria prevention treatments in use, it’s the most controversial. Short term use of the drug appears to cause startling side effects including night terrors, agitation, mood swings, panic attacks and hallucinations. Suicidal thoughts have also been reported.
In 2013, after the US Food and Drug Administration strengthened its warning on mefloquine’s label and acknowledged the possibility of long term damage, US Special Forces discontinued use of the drug. It hasn’t been banned outright by the US Military, though some, like Elspeth Cameron Ritchie, think it should be.