The Swedish Medical Products Agency has received reports from health care professionals regarding narcolepsy as suspected adverse drug reaction following Pandemrix flu vaccination.
The reports concern teenaged children who developed narcolepsy symptoms one to two months after vaccination against the H1N1 pandemic. Finland is also looking into the possible link following an increase in the sleeping disorder among children this spring.
According to The Local:
“In the European Union, around 30 million people were vaccinated using Pandemrix. Sweden bought 18 million doses, which was enough to provide two injections for each person in its 9.3 million population.”
The Pandemrix package insert shows that “somnolence”, although not narcolepsy per se, is a known potential side effect of the drug.
Finland's National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) has also issued an order to stop the use of Pandemrix swine flu vaccine due the probable link to narcolepsy in children. The agency received six reports of children who developed chronic sleep disorders after they received the vaccine in January 2010, Seer Press News reports.
Six cases of narcolepsy with cataplexy – a rare disorder characterized by chronic sleepiness, together with a loss of muscle tone – have been detected in France in persons vaccinated against influenza A/H1N1.
As you may recall, Australia also banned the swine flu vaccine for children under the age of 5, back in April, 2010, due to excessively high rates of febrile convulsions.