Chantix (varenicline tartrate) is an anti-smoking drug that is prescribed to help people overcome nicotine addiction and improve their health by quitting smoking. However, reports indicate that Chantix side effects could increase the risk of suicide, suicidal thoughts and unusual agressive behavior.
During the years after the medication was first introduced, there were many reports of users of the drug committing suicide or inflicting injury on themselves or others while using Chantix. The attorneys at Saiontz & Kirk previously represented individuals throughout the United States in lawsuits against Pfizer for failing to adequately warn about this risk prior to July 2009. At this time, new cases are no longer being accepted and most Chantix suicide lawsuits filed nationwide have settled.
CHANTIX SUICIDE PROBLEMS
Since Chantix was approved by the FDA in May 2006, there have been hundreds of reports of suicides and serious suicidal thoughts linked to the drug.
In February 2008, the FDA issued an alert highlighting important changes made to the Chantix warning label about potential psychiatric side effects, including severe changes in mood and behavior, as well as information about suicides and suicide attempts.
The FDA indicated that their review of data indicates it is “increasingly likely that there may be an association between Chantix and serious neuropsychiatric symptoms.”
Between May 2006 and December 2007, the FDA received the following serious adverse event reports associated with the use of Chantix:
- 227 reports of suicidal acts, thoughts or behavior
- 397 cases of possible psychosis
- 525 reports of hostility or aggression
CHANTIX SUICIDE LAWSUITS
Concerns have been expressed about the method that Pfizer chose to review the safety of their anti-smoking drug before introducing it in the United States.
Prior to receiving approval to market the medication, Pfizer specifically excluded from Chantix safety and efficacy trials many people who were potential target users of the drug, including those with a history of drug or alcohol abuse, those with cardiovascular disease within six months and those recently treated for psychiatric symptoms like depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis or panic disorders. They also prohibited the use of other psychologically active drugs during the clinical trial.
Product liability lawsuits were pursued by thousands of former users of Chantix throughout the United States, who sought compensation for Pfizer’s failure to adequately warn about the suicide problems which have resulted in serious injury and death for many users of the drug. New cases are no longer being pursued by the lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A.