Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (608)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

622 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Defence the number of doxycycline tablets issued to members of the Defence Forces annually since 2000. [34872/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Defence)

I am informed by the Military Authorities that a total of 27,392 Doxycycline capsules were purchased by the Brigade Medical Services (BMS) since 2006. The Military Authorities have advised that BMS records are only available from 2006 onwards. A breakdown is provided in the following table:

Year/Dosage

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

100mg

4,800

5,600

8,000

4,000

200

3,840

50mg

56

20mg

896

Total

4,856

5,600

8,896

4,000

200

3,840

Grand total of Doxycycline tablets purchased by the BMS from 2006 to 2012: 27,392.

Doxycycline is licensed for use by the Irish Medicine Board. The choice of chemoprophylaxis medication depends on the risk of malaria in the destination, resistance to particular drugs, the profile of the traveller (contra-indications, underlying health conditions, purpose of travel), the duration of travel and finally adherence issues. Doxycycline has to be taken in the absence of dairy products. It has a daily dosage regime. While it can cause minor but troublesome, mainly gastrointestinal side effects, it can also produce sun-sensitivity skin rashes (akin to severe sun burn) in some individuals. This is particularly significant when used in very sunny climes. For this reason it is not recommended for first line use by the Defence Forces in sub-Saharan Africa. It is the anti-malaria chemoprophylaxis of first choice by the Defence Forces in some geographic regions, e.g. Afghanistan. Information is currently being compiled on the number of tablets issued and I will forward this collated information to the Deputy when it becomes available.