Persian Gulf War veterans' illnesses
Administration of pyridostigmine bromide to approximately 400,000 soldiers as pretreatment for nerve gas exposure during the Gulf War may be a contributing factor in illnesses experienced by Persian Gulf veterans, according to testimony heard at a May 6 hearing on military research held by Sen. Rockefeller's (D-W.V.) Veterans' Affairs Committee. Usually given as a treatment for myasthenia gravis, the drug was not adequately tested in normal people, occupational/environmental toxicology specialist Thomas Callender, MD, maintains, adding that synergistic effects of pesticides, food and other agents in addition to pyridostigmine are possible. FDA Office of Drug Evaluation I Director Robert Temple testifies that a large, randomized trial of pyridostigmine could offer an "objective conclusion" as to possible long-term effects
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