Letter: Anti-malarial drug

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The Independent Online
Sir: Further to your article "Anti malarial drug that gave minister sleepless nights" (19 September), I would strongly endorse the warnings it contains. In May, on a working holiday in Malawi, where more dangerous strains of the disease are on the increase again, I suffered exactly the same effects from Lariam. Disturbed sleep patterns were followed by violent dreams.

Because of the alteration in malaria incidence, many long-stay expatriates have given up taking any medication, and malarial bouts are therefore frequent - and the cycle of transmission gets worse. Many told me that it was very dangerous for back-packers on their own to use Lariam. The onset of depression in a strange exotic country far from home could lead to suicidal tendencies.

Canon G H Smith

Kidderminster, Worcestershire