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Psychological Side Effects Lead to Chantix Lawsuits

Chantix Cardiovascular ProblemsThe anti-smoking drug Chantix (varenicline) was approved in 2006. But within two years, hundreds of users reported that they were suffering frightening psychological Chantix side effects including suicidal thoughts, depression, panic attacks, terrifying visions, aggressive behavior and mood swings, among others. In clinical trials, 13 percent of Chantix users experienced unusual dreams compared with 5 percent who took a placebo, according to Chantix manufacturer Pfizer.

To date, thousands of lawsuits have been filed against Pfizer by plaintiffs who claim that they have suffered serious side effects from the drug. In some cases it has even led to suicide. Most plaintiffs who file a Chantix lawsuit allege that the drug caused them psychological side effects, but some have cited other complications such as diabetes, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, cardiovascular problems, and heart attack.

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FDA orders black box warning

In 2009, after receiving many adverse event reports about Chantix side effects, the FDA ordered Pfizer to add a black box warning to the drug’s label stating that “Some people have had changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal thoughts or actions while using Chantix to help them quit smoking,” and telling patients to stop taking the drug and contact a doctor if they “develop suicidal thoughts or actions, anxiety, panic, aggression, anger, mania, abnormal sensations, hallucinations, paranoia, or confusion.”

The FDA has ordered Pfizer to conduct clinical trials about the psychological effects of Chantix. The findings of these trials are expected to be published in 2017.

Chantix litigation

Becaues of the large number of lawsuits making similar claims, a Chantix MDL was established in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. There are currently 2,635 lawsuits pending in the MDL. Of these, 223 make claims of Chantix suicide, and 1,009 make claims of attempted suicide.

Despite adding the black box warning, Pfizer has disputed the idea that Chantix causes psychological problems. In a statement, the company said, “To date, Chantix has been studied in more than 80,000 smokers including 30 randomized controlled clinical trials… none of these studies have found reliable scientific evidence that Chantix causes the neuropsychiatric events alleged in these lawsuits.”

Patients who have experienced serious side effects after taking Chantix are advised to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to learn if they are eligible to file a Chantix lawsuit.