I am neither a Doctor nor a Scientist and I do not pretend to be an authority on the effects the drugs given to us may have had. The internet is full of scientific papers, reports, hypothesis, denial and theories relating to the effects the tablets we were given, it is up to you the reader to either investigate for yourselves what I am about to tell you.
I will call it PB to save me time whilst writing about it and you time in having to read it. It is my assumption that papers written on PB are hundreds of pages long using abbreviations and unpronounceable words ensuring that the average person will not understand it or at least get bored reading about it. PB was administered to soldiers in tablet form however at the time of the Gulf War; PB was not approved to prevent death from exposure to nerve agents. However during that time the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) allowed the military to distribute PB as an investigational new drug. An extract from the FDA News letter states ‘The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced approval of Pyridostigmine Bromide to increase survival after exposure to Soman "nerve gas" poisoning. The product is approved for combat use by military personnel.’ The scary thing is the use of the word TODAY, especially as the extract is from a news letter dated February 2003, for ‘immediate release’ some thirteen years after the Gulf War.
We were never told it was an investigational new drug, we were never given any information about it, all we were told was to take it every eight hours, it might save our lives. I for one never agreed to be a guinea pig in an experiment, I know we were nicknamed the Desert Rats, more aptly we should have been known as the Laboratory Rats.
When you read through hundreds of papers written on the possible effects of PB there always seems to be a consistency in some theories, for example:
The Bromide in PB may accumulate in the body, leading to a development of a condition termed Bromism, which can produce many neuropsychiatric symptoms
PB may lead to chronic effects on the neuromuscular junction
Permeability of the “Blood-Brain Barrier” may have been enhanced due to stress and other conditions of war, permitting increased access of PB to the brain
Interactions between PB and other chemicals may produce toxicity greater than that produced by either alone
When appropriate doses are selected, nerve agent poisoning from Pyridostigmine theoretically should be minimal, offering protection from lethal warfare agents
Dr James Moss, a scientist at the US Department of Agriculture, conducted research on cockroaches. He found that when used in combination with Pyridostigmine, a common pesticide called DEET became 10 times as toxic as when used alone. DEET and many other pesticides were widely used in the Gulf War, as protection from sand flies, scorpions, and other pests (or vice versa), this could explain the serious neurological symptoms experienced by so many Gulf War veterans.
Just these few extracts give me cause for concern and my condition known as PTSD is just an easy solution for the Government to deny my mental & physical symptoms. You the reader can draw your own conclusions from these extracts of information.