Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Free Content Mass administration of the antimalarial drug mefloquine to Guantánamo detainees: a critical analysis

Download Article:

You have access to the full text article on a website external to Ingenta Connect.

Please click here to view this article on Wiley Online Library.

You may be required to register and activate access on Wiley Online Library before you can obtain the full text. If you have any queries please visit Wiley Online Library


Recently, evidence has emerged from an unusual form of mass drug administration practised among detainees held at US Naval Station Guantánamo Bay, Cuba (‘Guantánamo’), ostensibly as a public health measure. Mefloquine, an antimalarial drug originally developed by the US military, whose use is associated with a range of severe neuropsychiatric adverse effects, was administered at treatment doses to detainees immediately upon their arrival at Guantánamo, prior to laboratory testing for malaria and irrespective of symptoms of disease. In this analysis, the history of mefloquine’s development is reviewed and the indications for its administration at treatment doses are discussed. The stated rationale for the use of mefloquine among Guantánamo detainees is then evaluated in the context of accepted forms of population‐based malaria control. It is concluded that there was no plausible public health indication for the use of mefloquine at Guantánamo and that based on prevailing standards of care, the clinical indications for its use are decidedly unclear. This analysis suggests the troubling possibility that the use of mefloquine at Guantánamo may have been motivated in part by knowledge of the drug’s adverse effects, and points to a critical need for further investigation to resolve unanswered questions regarding the drug’s potentially inappropriate use.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Language: English

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Preventive Medicine, Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital, Ft. Polk, LA, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2012

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more