War Related Illness and Injury Study Center
Pyridostigmine (PB) Pills
Pyridostigmine (PB) pills are anti-nerve agent pills used by service members during the Gulf War as a preventive measure for protection from death in an attack with the nerve agent soman. PB pills were supplied to service members as 21-tablet blister packs, 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.
The VA and other research organizations concluded that evidence does not support an association between exposure to PB pills and chronic multisymptom illness. See the Federal Register notice * for the rationale behind the VA’s decision. While the scientific evidence does not support an association between the two, the VA still presumes certain chronic, unexplained symptoms existing for 6 months or more are related to Gulf War service without regard to cause. See more on this topic at: VA's Public Health site.