When the FDA approved a smoking cessation drug in 2006, there was a huge amount of excitement. Smokers that had been trying to quit unsuccessfully for years jumped on a chance to improve their health. But it turned out that maybe Chantix was not a magic pill after all. Quitting smoking is a process that is mentally challenging to begin with, but Chantix introduced a whole new level of problems when it was found to cause suicidal thoughts, depression, hostility, and changes in behavior in people taking it.
Reports of patients with extreme changes in mood and behavior led the FDA to add a black box warning to Chantix in 2009, stating that patients should be closely monitored for the above changes while on Chantix.
The effects are so serious that the Federal Aviation Administration banned its pilots from using it. Truck and bus drivers are also banned from using it because of the potential for serious psychological effects, blackouts, and loss of consciousness.
Now there are reports that Chantix causes an increased risk of cardiovascular events too, including heart attacks, congestive heart failure, and irregular heartbeat.
There are over 2000 cases pending over Chantix’s psychological events. A third of these cases relate to suicides, and the rest relate to depression, seizures, blackouts, and other effects. The bellwether case on this litigation goes to trial in January.
Pfizer made $720 million in sales last year, and over 2.3 million prescriptions have been dispensed this year alone.
If you have been injured by Chantix, call us to discuss your case.