Pfizer Advertises Chantix without Disclosing Suicide Side Effects

Austin Kirk

By Austin Kirk
Posted September 4, 2008


Exploiting a loophole in FDA drug advertising rules, Pfizer has been running millions of dollars in television ads designed to increase sales of their anti-smoking drug Chantix without warning about side effects which could increase the risk of suicide and other life-threatening injuries.

>>INFORMATION: Chantix Suicide Side Effects

According to FDA regulations, pharmaceutical companies are required to disclose possible side effects concerning their medications in advertisements and promotional material. This is required so that doctors and consumers can make an informed decision about whether they are willing to accept the potential risks to obtain the benefits of the medication. However, the FDA does not require information about dangers of a product if the advertisement does not specifically name the drug.

In recent weeks, Pfizer has devised a direct-to-consumer advertising campaign for their stop smoking drug Chantix, which is designed to increase sales of the drug by directing consumers to a specific website called

Neither the commercial or the website mentions the name “Chantix” specifically, but clearly both are designed to encourage consumers to talk to their doctors about drug treatments available to stop smoking. The website indicates that they should “learn more” about prescription treatment options, providing a direct link to the Chantix website. However, neither the commercial or the website talk about the potential side effects associated with the prescription treatment, which could increase the risk of suicide, suicidal thoughts or unusual aggressive behavior.

As a result of the serious side effects of Chantix, the FDA has required Pfizer to add stronger warnings to the label about the possible risk of suicide, suicidal thoughts and behavior changes that could result in severe injuries. These warnings were designed to make sure that Chantix users understand that pyschiatric problems can be caused by Chantix.

Despite the intent of these warnings, Pfizer is clearly formulating their advertising campaign around a message that fails to provide information about the negatives associated with the use of Chantix to help people stop smoking. Their executives must believe that they will generate more sales with these ads, than if they ran branded Chantix advertisements which properly informed people of the risks that come with their prescription treatment.


There are substantial health benefits associated with quitting smoking. However, there are many safer alternatives to Chantix available to help people stop smoking, and if they are properly informed about the risk of psychological side effects, many smokers would likely choose not to use Chantix.

The Chantix lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are reviewing potential lawsuits throughout the United States for users who have suffered severe or fatal injuries from a suicide, suicide attempt or unusual behavior. Potential cases are also being investigate for other side effects associated with Chantix, including new on-set diabetes, accidents caused by seizures or sudden blackouts, and a rare skin disorder known as Stevens Johnson Syndrome.

If you, a friend or family member have experienced problems with Chantix, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

13 Comments • Add Your Comments

  • ginger says:

    Posted on September 4, 2008 at 10:20 am

  • ginger says:

    A sneaky way to kill thousands more!

    Posted on September 4, 2008 at 10:21 am

  • Andrea says:

    Chantix ruined my life. 21-months so far of non-stop pain and agony. The fibromyalgia began on day 3 of taking Chantix, and later progressed into severe peripheral neuropathy. Walking is extremely painful, and 1/2 block is my limit before I have to stop because of the muscle burning and twitching in my legs, even with all of the meds my neurologist prescribed. Pfizer stole my life from me in December 2006, and I want it back. I never thought one person could stand this much pain for so long, with no end in sight.

    Posted on September 6, 2008 at 4:20 pm

  • OLIVIA says:


    Posted on October 6, 2008 at 12:00 pm

  • curtis says:

    I was taking chantix & I now I have diabetes.

    Posted on October 11, 2008 at 10:36 pm

  • Vieginia says:

    One month after having stopped taking Chantix I was so suicidal that I wanted to jump infront of a truck, overdose drown, slit my wrist. I have seen better day than last March. I have had no otherside effects but what could be worst than wanting to die.

    Posted on October 13, 2008 at 6:02 pm

  • scott says:

    Within 1 year I have taken chantix twice that mean to persciptions I had taken every pill.Didnt work then feb 08 was admitted in the hospital for my sugar reached 591 and know im type 1 diabetes.There were no sign of diabetes at my yearly blood work., I was so mad i ask my doctor how did you miss this. he said its a fluck thing a virus could caused it.Im very very determend that chantix to be insulin dependent.Thanks I will be on this for the rest of my about depressed.

    Posted on December 15, 2008 at 8:44 pm

  • george says:

    a 50 year smoker , i try chantrix spring of 2009. it worked , after 4weeks i was 1-deeply depressed 2 – very moodly 3- bad nigthmares ( my wife woke me up 4 – lost interst in most activies. my wife called the doctor who suggested chantrix., he told me stop taking pills NOW , he was geting to many complaints from chantrix users

    Posted on February 13, 2010 at 11:56 am

  • Michael says:

    My doc rx’d chantix for me for over a year, he said no smoking is better than social smoking. I now have sever numbness and tingling and pain in one finger of each hand. I have been to a neurologist, had an mri, labs, nerve conduction studies and muscle testing-all are normal through the wrist. I need help, I cannot tie my shoes, hold a razor or brush my teeth without pain. I am a surgeon and I am afraid it will affect my abilities to work. Any suggestions?

    Posted on May 28, 2010 at 8:12 pm

  • terri says:

    I took two scripts of Chantix between Oct. ’06 – Oct. ’07. Two hospital stays in ’08.

    Jan. ’08 – – taken by ambulance in middle of nite w/heart attack symptoms and stomach spasms so strong and painful, they felt like contractions. Stayed a week. Released w/diagnosis – – possible virus.

    May ’08 – – had great day at work as usual (23 yrs. same job!), daughter called when I got home, said, “mom, everybody wants to know what’s wrong? You haven’t been yourself for months and nobody knows why!” I laughed, picked up keys, took long drive to rural area, picking up 3 bottles of sleeping pills and razors along the way. Woke up six days later in little country hospital surrounded by devastated/confused family members…as I was being taken off ventilator.

    they wanted answers. I had none. What I DID remember was that I was beYOND exhausted for sooo long, all I wanted to do was take a soft blankey, go into closet and shut the world out!! At nite of dreamt of deceased loved ones coming to my room…so happy/healthy/laughing… begging me to go WITH them! Tried to convince me my job was done here. I finally listened.

    It’s been 2 1/2 years since my “attempt” and the embarrassment and just plain shame and CONFUSION is more painful than words could describe. I paid dearly. I’m a solid citizen w/uneventful background…married 37 years; mother of 2; nana of 6; 56 yrs. old; enjoy playing softball, writing, reading, laughing w/siblings/friends….I had a great life!!! I had no reason to just throw myself away!

    But, I tried. And, it was too easy. Life/living seemed almost laughable at that point. My mind was not my own. My thoughts totally distorted. Chantix is a powerful drug. Once it’s in your system only God knows how/where you’ll land. You MUST believe me. Save yourself the agony. DON’T TAKE THIS DRUG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on November 9, 2010 at 6:30 pm

  • Lowell says:

    I have fibromyalga was taking methadone for pain,klonipin for anxity Was very happy ,people realy liked the new me..I felt so confifdent I decided to qwit smoking I asked for patches at the VA ,,but the Dr. said take this medication.It was chantix I only took It for 5 days and knew something was wrong now the klonipin dose not work any morr,,This was late 07 ,,,life Is hell lost Interest In everything Im a very angry and depressd person, no more freinds I want to die The va just ignores me ,,Please Dont take this drug Quit a different way and dont think It wont happen to you I know someone at AA who took against my warning hes now dead at his own hands 8yrs sobriety VA still thinks im washing doun my pills with booze ,,You cant win

    Posted on November 13, 2010 at 1:22 pm

  • matt says:

    Chantix destroyed my nerves, now I suffer in horrible pain 24/7 am completely addicted to pain killers and am totaly disabled. THIS DRUG DESTROYED MY LIFE !!

    Posted on August 27, 2011 at 1:25 pm

  • Dave says:

    I started taking Chantix on and off about 3 years ago. I started having trouble with nerve pain in my feet and legs. I’ve finally linked it to Chantix after many years of pain. I hope that my nerves can recover. Time will tell. DO NOT take this drug, it will destroy your life.

    Posted on July 9, 2012 at 9:38 pm

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