With cases of mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, chikungunya, zika and dengue, a lot of people are trying to take precautionary measures in their attempts at getting protection from mosquitoes and the mosquito-borne diseases. Now, it turns out that a certain anti-malaria medication has been dubbed a 'suicide drug' after it was found out that it gives people the urge to kill themselves. The news came into the fore after the death of Brit Alana Cutland in Madagascar.
According to a story published in The Sun, Alana, 19, was taking Doxycycline - an antibiotic that kills bacteria in the body which is prescribed by a GP.
The medication has to be taken orally every 12 hours , with prescriptions normally starting prior to somebody travelling to a country exposed to high-risk of the mosquito-borne disease malaria.
According to a case report published in The BMJ recently, three young people with no history of mental illness were treated for skin conditions with doxycycline - and had a devastating reaction to the drug.
It turns out that all three of them developed 'suicidal ideation' with an outcome of suicide in two of the cases.
Much like Alana's case, a British mum had recently written that she is very concerned about her 20 year-old son’s sudden and alarming deterioration in mental health following a course of doxycycline.
While, the NHS Online lists headaches, feeling sick or being sensitive to light as Doxycycline’s common side-effects, there is no mention of suicidal thoughts or psychological effects.
According to Alana's father, Neil, his daughter had no history of anxiety or mental health issues before she travelled to the country last month.
The 19-year-old Cambridge University student threw herself out of a Cessna light aircraft on July 25 - after seemingly suffering a paranoid mental breakdown that caused psychosis and hallucinations.
Doxycycline is an antibiotic used to treat a number of infections related to the chest, skin, teeth and STDs. According to the NHS, it can also be used to prevent malaria if one is travelling abroad. Since it can affect the growth of teeth, Doxycyline is not prescribed for children under 12 years old or given to pregnant and breastfeeding women.