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.

There’s evidence of long term consequences as well. Some research suggests permanent brain damage may have occurred in soldiers taking mefloquine.

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.