Posted by: Naill Hunter, Editor, Irish Health
31 August 2010
The European Medicines Agency has launched a review of the swine flu vaccine Pandemrix, following reports of a link with the vaccine and the sleep disorder narcolepsy.
The review is to be carried out by the agency at the request of the European Commission following a limited number of cases of narcolepsy following Pandemrix vaccination, reported mainly in Finland and Sweden.
Narcolepsy is a rare sleep disorder that causes a person to fall asleep suddenly and unexpectedly. It is believed to be triggered by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
The Agency stressed that it is at present not known if the vaccine caused the disorder.
Pandemrix has been used for vaccination against H1N1 influenza in at least 30.8 million Europeans and was the most commonnly-used H1N1 vaccine in Ireland. Swine flu killed 24 Irish people in the recent outbreak.
Narcolepsy is a rare sleep disorder that causes a person to fall asleep suddenly and unexpectedly. Its precise cause is unknown, but it is generally considered to be triggered by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, including infections.