WASHINGTON — The world's most-prescribed sleeping pill can cause temporary memory loss but, because there is no evidence that it endangers public health, it should not be banned, a federal advisory panel said Friday.
The Food and Drug Administration's advisory committee unanimously recommended that the agency change the label on Upjohn Co.'s sleeping pill--called Halcion--to warn doctors that the drug may be more likely to cause amnesia than similar medications.
In the last year, cases of violent behavior and death allegedly linked to Halcion have received considerable publicity. Upjohn contends that such attention has contributed to an increased number of reports of Halcion-linked side effects to the FDA.
Dr. Daniel Casey, chairman of the FDA advisory committee, said amnesia was the only potential problem with Halcion that stood out in data presented Friday by Upjohn and the FDA.