In 2006, the United States Food and Drug administration approved the smoking cessation drug called Chantix (generic name varencline). The drug, manufactured by Pfizer is to aid people who want to stop smoking. The drug blocks the nicotine receptors in the brain, thus reducing the pleasant sensations derived from smoking a cigarette.
Unfortunately, Chantix clinical trials completed by Pfizer prior to Chantix going to market were incomplete.
In 2008, a suit began against Chantix manufacturer Pfizer in an Indiana Federal Court. The suit was by a widow of a Chantix user who had committed suicide a short while after beginning Chantix treatment. The victim had no history of mental illness. By October 2009 there were 34 additional suits filed in 16 different federal district courts. Accordingly, the United States Judicial Panel on Multi-district Litigation consolidated all federal suits about Chantix and assigned the case to federal court in the Northern District of Alabama. Since October 2009 many more suits were included into the MDL (multi-district litigation) before the Alabama court.
Additionally, two suits have been filed in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan. The suits were on behalf of two people who attempted suicide and a woman who succeeded in her suicide attempt. Both suits claim that Pfizer intentionally acted in a reckless and negligent way by concealing or misrepresenting the health risks associated with Chantix.
As early as 2007 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a paper about the emerging patient safety concerns over the psychiatric effects of Chantix linking it to suicides, suicidal thoughts and aggressive behavior. In February 2008 the FDA stated that it is “increasingly likely that there may be an association between Chantix and serious neuropsychiatric symptoms. By June 2009,he FDA ordered Pfizer to change the labeling on Chantix to include a black box warning (the most serious warning on a prescription drug label) about the risk of changes in behavior, depression, suicidal thoughts and hostility.
When Chantix was in clinical trials patients who had a psychiatric history or current psychiatric symptoms were excluded from the trials. Therefore, patients with common psychiatric conditions such as depression, bi-polar disorder, anxiety and schizophrenia were not evaluated with Chantix resulting in insufficient warnings for Chantix.
Claims against Pfizer include inadequately researching Chantix, failure to warn doctors of potential side effects and failure to warn patients about serious side effects associated with Chantix use. Chantix Has Dangerous Side Effects.
Those side effects are:
- Attempted Suicide
- Sudden Aggressive Behavior
If you are taking Chantix and experience any of the above symptoms immediately seek medical help. If you or a loved one have taken Chantix and had a bad experience with it, contact a Chantix attorney to evaluate your potential claim.