Adverse Psychiatric Reactions Information Link
Promoting awareness of medicines that can harm mental health

ADR experiences Chloroquine

The Express newspaper of Monday October 26 l998 contained the following report (extract) " FAMILY BLAME SURFER SON'S SUICIDE ON MALARIA PILLS"

The family of a teenage surfer blamed anti-malaria tablets yesterday for the depression that led to the fun-loving youngster's suicide. Student Dan Gater, 19 followed his love for surfing to the beaches of Bali and took tablets to protect himself from the mosquito born disease. But he cut short his two-month dream trip and was a dramatically changed person when he returned home.

After nine months of psychiatric treatment he hanged himself from a tree. His friends who were with him in Bali said they could see the change in him as soon as he took the malaria pills every day. He got worse every time he took them. His eyes were bulging and his personality had changed. A caption under a photo of Dan stated" Student Dan became moody and aggressive."

The tragic story of Dan may be a rare reaction. However it cannot be discounted that the psychiatric drugs he may have been treated with would also cause problems for a person unable to tolerate the anti-malarial drug. See the section on pharmacogenetics. Many people taking the psychotropic drugs suffer psychiatric adverse side effects and suicides are linked to these side effects. 

If medication is found necessary for someone suffering a psychiatric adverse reaction, to keep the person calm for example, then the lowest dose possible should be used


Reporting Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs)
If you have suffered psychiatric adverse reactions please report them. There may be side effects not mentioned on the data sheets. You can request a list of drugs used pre surgery and during surgery. You should be given patient information for all drugs prescribed as you are discharged from hospital.

Please report Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) to:

UK Yellow Card Reporting for Patient and Health Professional reports of Adverse Drug Reactions

USA and worldwide to the Food and Drug Administration for Patients and Healthcare Professionals

Universal free, independent drug safety website - Rxisk

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