Hundreds of British soldiers in Afghanistan were given a controversial anti-malaria drug even though experts do not recommend its use in the country, it can be revealed.
Lariam, also known as mefloquine, is associated with a range of mental health problems ranging from psychosis and depression to hallucinations and suicidal thoughts.
The Independent disclosed that nearly 1,000 British servicemen and servicewomen have required psychiatric treatment after taking the discredited drug.
Now it can be reported that more than 500 service personnel were given Lariam before being deployed to Afghanistan between 2007 and 2014, according to official figures released in response to a Freedom of Information request. It is not known how many subsequently required mental health treatment.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) defends its continued use of Lariam – which is banned by the US Special Forces Command – on the grounds that it follows Public Health England (PHE) guidelines.