Do you know a veteran who took mefloquine while serving in the Canadian military? A group of veterans and their spouses have been trying to find veterans who may have taken this once a week antimalarial drug while they were on tour in countries such as Somalia, Rwanda and Afghanistan.
Countless veterans have been diagnosed and treated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder yet they are still struggling. The DSM 5 which is the diagnostic tool used to assess patients by medical professionals requires that exposure to neurotoxins (ie. mefloquine) be ruled out before you give a PTSD diagnosis. Quinism is the disease that may occur when you have taken Quinoline drugs such as mefloquine. The Quinism Foundation lists symptoms such as tinnitus, dizziness or vertigo, visual disturbances, gut issues, persistent nightmares, sleep apnea, insomnia, anxiety, paranoia, depression, personality change and suicidal thoughts.
As advocates trying to bring awareness to mefloquine we share numerous resources on mefloquine, quinism and the mass tort lawsuit that is happening in Canada:
Dr. Remington Nevin is a Vermont-based physician epidemiologist and expert consultant in the adverse effects of antimalarial drugs, particularly mefloquine. He is extremely supportive of veterans and world travellers and his work is respected worldwide.
The Quinism Foundation promotes and supports education and research on quinism, the family of medical disorders caused by poisoning by mefloquine. This website is a fantastic resource. They also have a Facebook page.
Howie Sacks & Henry is the lawfirm that is leading the mass tort lawsuit. Their website has information about mefloquine, slides from the presentation from the town hall meetings, and numerous ways to contact the firm to inquire about the lawsuit.
You can watch the playback of the virtual mefloquine town hall meeting right here. It has all of the same information as the in person events:
There is a vestibular physiotherapy assessment that is mentioned in the town hall meetings and by the lawfirm. A company called LifeMark uses the WRMI-2 screening tool which is a very basic couple of questions to see if mefloquine is even in the running to explain a person’s symptoms. It is not testing for actual poisoning or diagnostic in any way. The therapist takes into account the results of the screening in combination with their vestibular (dizziness & balance) assessment findings and then report these findings to a person’s Doctor and makes recommendations for treatment if deemed appropriate. I have a list of Lifemark locations that offer this testing as this is not available at all of them. It is important to know that this testing is a cost out of your own pocket.
If you plan on pursuing the lawsuit and determine that it would be helpful to have your medical records than it is possible to obtain your medical files through a free Access to Information request.
This information may be exactly what someone you know needs to hear. Please share this with anyone you know on or off of social media.
~ Kentrina Jenkins