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Woman Claims Chantix Caused Her To Attempt Suicide

Although the drug Chantix (varenicline) is designed to assist smokers in their quitting endeavors, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the drug is tied to some serious psychological side effects. A North Carolina woman has joined many other Chantix side effects sufferers in filing a lawsuit against drug maker Pfizer Inc. for negligence and failure to warn about the possibility of serious complications such as depression and suicidal thoughts.

Rita Louise Norris filed her lawsuit on May 3, 2012, which was consolidated with the Chantix Products Liability multidistrict litigation currently taking place in the Northern District of Alabama. In her complaint, Norris claims that less than a year after beginning a treatment regime in June 2007, she began to experience Chantix psychological side effects such as anxiety, depression, erratic and unpredictable behavior, irritability, paranoia and suicidal thoughts. She eventually attempted suicide as a result of her symptoms, requiring her to be hospitalized for a period.

Chantix Psychological Side Effects Tied to Dopamine Levels in the Brain

Chantix works by altering brain chemistry, blocking the brain’s nicotine receptors and mitigating the amount of dopamine (the pleasure chemical) that is absorbed. As a result, smokers do not experience the same satisfaction from a cigarette. However, it has been theorized that the drug may affect more than simply nicotine receptors, and may in fact cause dopamine levels in the entire brain to drop. Dangerously low levels of brain dopamine could contribute to depression, anxiety, suicidal behavior and other side effects.

Chantix Lawsuit Demands Compensation from Drug Maker

Norris’s Chantix lawsuit claims that Pfizer exhibited negligence in releasing a defective product onto the market, failed to warn of its dangers, breached express and implied warranties, fraudulently misrepresented and concealed information and profited from these wrongdoings. She is demanding punitive and compensatory damages for her injuries.


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