Two recent studies undertaken independently from one another have indicated that the United States military has been inoculating detainees at the Guantanamo Bay facility with high doses of a controversial anti-malarial medication despite very little evidence that there is any threat of Malaria in the region. Mefloquine (commonly known by its commercial name "Lariam") is known to have extremely dangerous neuropsychiatric side effects, including nightmares, hallucinations, suicidal ideation, and psychosis. The drug is also fat soluble, so it can build up in a patient's body, causing side effects to last for weeks and months after administration.|
A number of doctors, CDC spokesmen, and law researchers cited in the studies have expressed their doubts over the medical efficacy of such a presumptive dosing program, and some speculate that the drug may be being used precisely because of its adverse side effects. If the drug is found to have been administered improperly, it may constitute a violation of the Geneva Convention against biological experiments on prisoners. It would be the second time this year that the United States' adherence to the convention's ban on human experimentation has come into question, after revelations that Paul Wolfowitz loosened rules in 2002 in order to allow for research into the efficacy of various techniques for extracting information during 'enhanced interrogations' (ie. torture).