Lariam, the brand name of the generic drug mefloquine, is used to prevent and treat malaria. Malaria is a serious, sometimes deadly, parasitic infection transmitted through mosquito bites. High numbers of cases are frequently found in tropical regions of the world, and in areas with very poor medical care. When people in the United States travel to other countries where malaria is prevalent, especially those in Africa, South America, and the South Pacific, they are advised by the Centers for Disease Control to get and take malaria medication, such as Lariam, for a long period of time before venturing on their journey, and continue taking it while in the country they are traveling to. Since it was first distributed in 1985, it has been given to over 20 million people. However, there have been major and severe side effects associated with Lariam.
Some of the side effects that have been connected to Lariam are severe depression, paranoia, seizures, and anxiety. Dizziness and vivid dreams are reported in about 20 percent of patients. The most severe reaction, however, is that there are cases in which Lariam was believed to cause suicidal thoughts and led to patients committing suicide; reports of soldiers committing suicide during or after deployment in the Middle East became cause for concern among doctors and patients alike.
In September 2002, the Food and Drug Administration told the manufacturer of Lariam to add a warning to the label on the bottle informing users that the drug had the potential to cause suicidal tendencies. This warning, while seeking to inform those people who are newly prescribed the drug, does little for those who have taken the drug previously and experienced the negative side effects. Additionally, some argue that the warning is insufficient, and others argue that the drug should be removed from the market entirely. In 2003, the Food and Drug Administration required that all patients who are prescribed Lariam must be evaluated for possible depression or suicidal tendencies throughout the course of their treatment.
If you have experienced depression, anxiety, paranoia or other similar side effects after taking Lariam, or are prone to these tendencies, contact your doctor at once. You may need to take another anti-malaria pill that will not put you at risk to develop suicidal tendencies. Further, it is difficult to continue with your daily life when you are severely depressed or riddled with anxiety, so talk to your doctor about your treatment options if you have already experienced these side effects. Even if you are uncertain if what you are feeling is depression, or if you are unsure if it is caused by Lariam, you should still speak with your doctor. Only he or she can give you a proper diagnosis of the symptoms you are feeling and put you on another prescription, if necessary.
If your spouse or child took Lariam and committed suicide, you should talk with an attorney who deals with cases regarding drug manufacturer negligence and possibly wrongful death suits. If your loved one took Lariam and was not told of the side effects even though they were known and available, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the company. The attorney can explain to you about a wrongful death lawsuit and the recovery that you may be able to obtain as a result of the death of your loved one. It is unfair that someone could take a drug in preparation for a trip or vacation, only to have such dire consequences result.
When you speak with an attorney, she will be able to personally evaluate your specific case and give you an idea of your chances of winning a lawsuit and your possible recovery. Since every case is different, you cannot know how successful you will be until you speak with an attorney. Contact a lawyer today and get started on the path to making the drug company pay for what they have done to you and your family.