The FDA says an experimental Merck drug, suvorexant, helps patients fall asleep but has worrisome side effects, including suicidal thinking. The FDA said company trials showed the pill consistently worked better than a placebo. But patients taking higher doses had an eight-fold increase in daytime drowsiness that interfered with driving. Four women had to stop a driving test. And over 12 months, eight cases of suicidal thinking or behavior were reported. It’s possible the FDA will allow the drug to be used only in lower doses.
Insomnia drug’s side effects raise worries
You've reached the limit of 10 free articles a month
Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.
- High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
- Convenient access across all of your devices
- Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
- Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
- Less than $1 a week