Business

Market Movers

Insomnia drug’s side effects raise worries

The FDA will poll outside experts on Merck & Co.’s insomnia drug Wednesday.

Matt Rourke/Associated Press

The FDA will poll outside experts on Merck & Co.’s insomnia drug Wednesday.

Advertisement

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.

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

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 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com