Although Chantix is effective, side effects outweigh benefits since there are safer alternatives available

Harvey Kirk

By Harvey Kirk
Posted July 16, 2008


New research confirms that the stop-smoking drug Chantix is effective at helping people kick their nicotine habit. However, alternative therapies are available which are also twice as effective as quitting on your own, which do not carry the same risks of serious and potentially life-threatening side effects associated with Chantix.

>>INFORMATION: Chantix Side Effects

According to a new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, six different nicotine-replacement therapies, including Chantix, Zyban and Nicotine nasal sprays, patches, tablets and gum, are more than twice as effective at helping people quit smoking for at least six months to a year. The Canadian researchers compared 69 clinical trials involving more than 33,000 people, which demonstrated that the therapies are more effective than placebos, or no smoking-cessation treatment at all.

Although Chantix was found to help people quit smoking, other safer alternatives, such as Nicotine nasal spray were found to be near equally as effective, and Zyban (also known as Wellbutrin), the Nicotine patch and Nicotine tablets were found to be only marginally less effective. These other effective nicotine-replacement therapies do not have the same risks associated with them, which further highlights the importance of providing adequate warnings about the potential problems that could be caused by Chantix.

Over the past year, concerns have grown about the safety of Chantix and the impact the drug has on the brain. Chantix side effects have been linked to a number of psychological problems and other health concerns, which could result in death or serious physical injury. Since the stop-smoking drug was approved in May 2006, the FDA has received hundreds of reports of suicides, suicide attempts, cases of sudden psychosis, hostility or aggression. Earlier this year, the FDA required Pfizer, the maker of Chantix, to add warnings about the risk of these psychological side effects so that smokers can make an informed decision before starting the therapy.

In a related study published in the same issue of the Canadian journal, researchers surveyed smokers to ask whether they were interested in receiving free nicotine-replacement therapy and whether they would use them. According to 825 smokers, 60% indicated that they would be interested in receiving one of the products designed to help them quit smoking, and 94% of those said that they would use to try to quit smoking for good. However, if these same individuals had been informed that Chantix has been linked to an increased risk of suicides, suicidal thoughts and death, how many of these smokers would voluntarily choose to try Chantix, as opposed to one of the other available effective therapies.


The Chantix lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. represent individuals throughout the United States who suffered severe physical injury or death as a result of a suicide or suicide attempt while taking Chantix. These users were not provided adequate warnings about the side effects of Chantix, which likely would have led them to choose a different smoking-cessation treatment to help them quit smoking. Potential Chantix lawsuits are also being investigated for users who developed new on-set diabetes, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome or who suffered a severe injury in an accident caused by a sudden seizure or other medical problem which could have been caused by the drug.

If you, a friend or family member have a potential case, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

5 Comments • Add Your Comments

  • ROBIN says:

    I have been taking Chantix for about a month now and I don’t have any side effects. Does this mean that I wont have any? Is there alot of people who take Chantix that doesnt have any side effects and works great for them? Or maybe it takes awhile to develop side effects? I am worried…

    Posted on April 2, 2009 at 9:46 am

  • beverly says:

    I’m glad this medication has worked for some, as it has
    made my life extremely difficult. Did fine the first couple of weeks, then the dreams started and they were, not crazy or strange but really violent so I would only sleep for a couple of hrs a night , I only have the dreams now about 4 nights a week. I have had nausea, lost my sense of taste, I have turned mean, hateful, can’t stand to me around anyone(even myself)severe headaches every day. And this is not me, I have always enjoyed being around others, always having a smile on my face and really enjoying life and going off just rambling with my husband on the weekends, now I keep all my blinds close, never want to go any where or do anything. My life has gotten so bad that I’m surprised my husband and kids have not left and believe me I couldn’t blame them, cause if I could leave myself I would. I finished the 12 weeks and still not smoking for 3 months, I have been off Chantix for 2 months and the side effects are NOT going away, at times I feel like they are getting worse. I have even talked to my doctor about all the side effects and was told to give it a couple more weeks(I had been of Chantix for 2 weeks)for it all to go away, I still have very strong urges to smoke and not sure how much longer I can handle the severe headaches and other systems like confusion, unable to concentrate at work, wanting to be isolated away from others and crying spells over basically nothing..I wish I had never started taking Chantix especially since it has severely altered my
    personality,moods, attitude towards life and my losing my sense of taste. It’s not worth all of this, as the systems are not going away, I’m really struggling to not start back smoking.

    Posted on June 23, 2009 at 9:32 pm

  • Kat says:

    Hi, Beverly.

    This sounds like a nightmare situation. Did the symptoms ever go away? I am considering trying Chantix as I have been struggling to quit for so many years. Let me know what the outcome was! I hope you are still smoke free and back to yourself again.


    Posted on February 28, 2017 at 6:27 pm

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