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Woman sues drug company, claiming Halcion reactions

CITRUS

An Inverness woman has sued Upjohn Co., alleging that she suffered depression, paranoia and forgetfulness after taking Halcion, a sleeping medication. Halcion, a prescription drug designed for short-term problems, has been used worldwide by millions. Upjohn brought the product to American shelves in 1983. In recent years, many people have said it caused depression and drastic episodes of amnesia. Margaret Konupka of Inverness started taking Halcion in 1989, said her attorney, James A. Sheehan of St. Petersburg. She suffered depression, paranoia and forgetfulness, he said, and the drug was the cause. Mrs. Konupka and her husband, Walter, sued in circuit court Friday, seeking more than $10,000 in damages. The lawsuit claims that Upjohn marketed its product before it completed proper tests and failed to warn users about potential side effects. Officials at the company in Kalamazoo, Mich., said Halcion's effects are similar to those of similar medications and that many disorders blamed on Halcion could be a result of improper use of the drug or a failure to recognize deeper medical problems.

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