Chantix Recall Watch: Suicide and Suicide Attempt Reports Have Grown Despite Warnings

Austin Kirk

By Austin Kirk
Posted September 22, 2009


Despite several warnings added in recent years about the risk of suicide, suicide attempts and other psychiatric side effects of Chantix, the FDA has continued to receive more and more reports of deaths and serious injuries from self-inflicted harm while people are taking the drug to help them quit smoking. However, instead of issuing a Chantix recall, the FDA has required that the warnings be placed in a “black box” prominently displayed on the drug’s label, which is the strongest warning that can be placed on a prescription medication.

>>INFORMATION: Chantix Suicide Lawsuit

A report last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) indicated that the FDA was aware of at least 90 reports of Chantix suicides and 188 suicide attempts as of July. This is up from a documented 19 suicides and 15 suicide attempts between May 2006 and November 2007, when the first warnings were added to the medication.

Chantix (varenicline) was approved by the FDA in 2006 as a prescription medication to help people stop smoking, and it has proven to be effective. However, while most people look to stop smoking so that they can improve their health and prolong their life, side effects of Chantix have been associated with a disturbing risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior.

Rather than recalling Chantix, the FDA announced earlier this year that Pfizer will be required to add a “black box” warning to inform users and the medical community that users may experience an increased risk of psychiatric side effects, which can include sever and fatal injuries from suicide attempts, aggressive behavior and other behavioral changes.

Allowing the drug to remain on the market with increased warnings is designed to give smokers an opportunity to weigh the risk against the benefits. However, given alternative methods that are available to help people quit smoking, it does not seem that the benefits could outweigh the risk of damage that Chantix behavior changes can have on a user and their family, raising the question of why a Chantix recall has not yet been issued.


The attorneys at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. represent individuals throughout the United States who are pursuing a Chantix suicide lawsuit for severe or fatal injuries suffered. Pfizer failed to adequately research the Chantix problems before introducing and heavily marketing their drug to users. Potential cases are also being reviewed for users who have suffered severe physical injury from sudden abnormal behavior, accidents or falls caused by seizures or blackouts, new on-set diabetes from Chantix and for individuals who have developed rare skin reactions known as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome or Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis.

To speak with a Chantix lawyer and have a potential claim reviewed to determine if compensation may be available for yourself or your family, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

1 Comment • Add Your Comments

  • Bob says:

    All “No smoking” signs should be required to have these warnings. The government is encouraging people to use these products with mandated smoking bans.

    Posted on September 23, 2009 at 10:30 am

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