Chantix Linked To Suicide
If you or a loved one have taken Chantix (varenicline), the smoking cessation drug manufactured and sold by Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company and experienced any of the following issues you should contact a product liability attorney.
The experiences at issue are:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Sudden aggressive behavior
The United State Federal Drug Administration (FDA) ordered Pfizer to add a “black box” warning on the packaging of Chantix. This is the most serious labeling that a prescription drug has. This order is a result of the FDA acknowledging that there is significant evidence that shows Chantix linked to suicide after getting almost 100 reports of Chantix takers committing suicide and 198 reports of attempted suicide.
The new labeling prominently warns patients about the risk of suicide, attempted suicide and sudden aggressive behavior.
Experts feel that it is imperative that family members and caregivers are aware of these potential deadly side effects. If the patient exhibits any of these behaviors in the person taking Chantix they should conduct a health care professional without delay.
One death potentially linked to Chantix was the suicide of Donald Walker. Walker was the former mayor of Warner Robins, Georgia. He had served as mayor for 15 years and succeeded in his suicide attempt in the midst of his re-election campaign. He shot himself in the head while in bed. According to Houston County Medical Examiner Walker suffered depression caused by Chantix. In turn, the medical examiner reported that Walker began heavily drinking. At the time of death Walker had an alcohol level of .4. The alcohol use that Walker used to self medicate his Chantix induced depression actually made it the depression worse resulting in his suicide.
Another high-profile death linked to Chantix is that of musician Carter Albrecht of Dallas. Albrecht was shot to death by his neighbor after Albrecht began violently banging on his neighbor’s door in the middle of the night. It appears that the incident was due to hallucinations and vivid nightmares along with a marked violent personality change. The family concurs that he was taking Chantix to quit smoking when the hallucinations and vivid nightmares began. The family is suing Pfizer for wrongful death.
Numerous lawsuits are pending in Federal and State courts about the adverse effects of Chantix. In federal court the cases are now a Multi-district litigation (MDL) that will be heard in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. The case is not expected to be heard until some time in 2012. The complaints alleged in federal court include the following charges against Pfizer. They include: allegations that Pfizer excluded patients with depression or other mental illnesses from several clinical trials, failure to conduct adequate research on Chantix before bringing it to market as a drug that is heavily marketed as a sound way to stop smoking.