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Pyridostigmine Bromide and Gulf War Veterans

VA and research organizations evaluated exposure to pyridostigmine bromide (PB), an anti-nerve agent pill Gulf War Veterans may have taken during military service, as a possible cause of chronic multisymptom illnesses.

VA has concluded that the evidence does not support an association. Read the Federal Register notice for the rationale behind VA’s decision.

VA still, however, presumes certain medically unexplained illnesses are related to Gulf War service without regard to cause.

Pyridostigmine bromide (PB)

Hand holding round white pills
  • Anti-nerve agent pill used during the Gulf War as a pretreatment to protect military personnel from death in an attack with the nerve agent soman.
  • Supplied in the Gulf War as 21-tablet blister pack, with prescribed dosage as one 30-mg tablet every 8 hours. Veterans’ actual exposure is not known, because pills were self-administered and there are few examples in individual or unit health records from the Department of Defense.

VA benefits

Gulf War Veterans may be eligible for a variety of VA benefits, including a Gulf War Registry health exam, the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry, health care, and disability compensation for diseases related to military service. Their dependents and survivors also may be eligible for benefits.

Learn more about benefits related to Gulf War service.

Research on pyridostigmine bromide (PB)

VA continues to monitor Gulf War Veterans’ health issues and conduct research. Below are reports on past research on PB and Gulf War Veterans starting with the most recent report.

View more research on health effects of Gulf War service.

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