Bush Stops Taking Sleeping Pill Halcion

<i> Reuters</i>

President Bush has stopped taking the sleeping pill Halcion because of the controversy over its potential side effects, White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said Wednesday.

Fitzwater said the President last used Halcion during his 12-day tour of Asia, which ended Jan. 10. Bush told reporters during the trip that he had taken half a tablet to fight jet lag.

“He has taken it on trips in the past, but he doesn’t take it on a daily basis,” Fitzwater said. “He’s not taking it now, due to the controversy over its use.”

Halcion is banned or restricted in 11 countries because of reports of side effects including confusion, amnesia, anxiety, paranoia, hyper-excitability and dizziness.


Many medical experts say the drug, manufactured by Upjohn Co., is harmless and effective taken in the recommended dosage and for short periods of time.