Chantix Suicides May Have Been Avoided

Harvey Kirk

By Harvey Kirk
Posted December 21, 2010


Since Pfizer’s smoking cessation drug Chantix was first linked to an increased risk of suicide, suicide attempts and other psychotic side effects, a number of people have filed a Chantix lawsuit alleging that the drug maker failed to adequately research the medication. It now appears that some people inside the FDA were raising similar concerns about Pfizer’s decision to exclude individuals with psychiatric history when they tested and evaluated the medication.

>>MORE INFORMATION: Chantix Suicide Side Effects

According to a report released earlier this month by, it appears that some FDA drug reviewers raised questions about the testing of Chantix before it was approved in 2006. At least one reviewer indicated at the time that without testing of the stop-smoking drug on individuals with mental illness, clinical trials conducted by Pfizer did not represent the true target population of the drug.

Back in March 2008, we posted a blog detailing how the risk of Chantix problems was not fully reviewed before the medication was approved, as individual with a psychiatric history or current psychiatric symptoms were excluded from clinical trials. This means that the drug was not properly evaluated among people with conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, which a number of smokers experience.

A large number of smokers battle with problems like depression and anxiety, the added pressure to quit smoking, and the physical and emotional effects of nicotine withdrawal, are likely to aggravate such problems. On top of that, Chantix plays with the brain’s neurochemistry, shutting down its ability to derive pleasure from nicotine, and kicking the brain’s production of dopamine into overdrive. Dopamine is linked to the reward system in the brain, and controls motivation and the psychological high we get when we do things that we enjoy.

If Pfizer had properly evaluated their medication and warned about the risks associated with use, hundreds of Chantix suicides and other violent acts may have been prevented.

According to a new study published this month in the medical journal PLoS ONE, Chantix has been linked to more reported incidence of violence than any other prescription drug over the five year period ending in 2009, with many of the reports involving suicides or suicide attempts.


The Chantix lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. have been pursuing claims for suicides and suicide attempts with Chantix for the past three years. Individuals who have suffered a severe injury or died as a result of a suicide while using this medication may be entitled to financial compensation through a Chantix suicide lawsuit as a result of Pfizer’s failure to warn about the risk of problems.

To review a potential claim on behalf of yourself, a friend or family member, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

1 Comment • Add Your Comments

  • t says:

    I took Chantix with HIGH HOPES of finally quitting. I did NOT take this w/hopes of having horrific side effects….and taking an early retirement on Pfizer.

    You have to believe me when I say, “this is one, VERY scary, unpredictable, SNEAKY, all-consuming and THOROUGH drug.” I’m speaking the truth when I say, “only God knows how and WHERE you will land…once this is in your system.”

    Posted on February 25, 2011 at 1:15 pm

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