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Dangerous Drug, Chantix

Reports of erratic behavior and suicide have been associated with the use of Chantix, a drug that was designed to help people stop smoking and was approved by the Food and Drug Administration just under two years ago. In November 2007, the FDA issued a statement that they are reviewing the possible Chantix suicide side effects and that there have been over 100 reports received of suicidal thoughts and severe behavioral changes within just a few weeks of taking the drug.

Since its approval by the FDA, over 4 million Americans have received a prescription for the drug. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States and accounts for more than 400,000 deaths every year.

Because of these reports, defective product and dangerous drug attorneys are evaluating the potential of Chantix lawsuits on behalf of people who have committed suicide or suffered severe injury as a result of the drug’s adverse side effects.

Chantix (generic varenicline tartrate) was approved by the FDA in May 2006 as part of a review that drastically shortened the time required for the drug maker to begin selling the medication. Chantix helps people to quit smoking by easing the withdrawal symptoms of nicotine cessation and by blocking some of the effects of nicotine from cigarettes, which helps to promote long-term smoking cessation.

Label Update

When the FDA issued its November 2007 statement regarding Chantix and suicide, it requested data from the drug’s manufacturer, Pfizer, about reported problems involving suicide and aggressive or erratic behavior associated with the medication. On November 20, 2007, Pfizer updated Chantix’s label to indicate that the drug’s side effects include the following: “reports of depressed mood, agitation, changes in behavior, suicidal ideation and suicide in patients attempting to quit smoking while taking Chantix.”

Additionally, the FDA is reviewing reports that the drug could cause problems while driving or operating heavy machinery. While the number of these incidents is very small, the FDA pointed out that they all describe similar situations with symptoms of drowsiness leading to difficulty operating a vehicle.

Other reported side effects of Chantix include:

• Nausea
• Stomach pain
• Vomiting
• Indigestion
• Weakness
• Lethargy
• Increased appetite
• Unpleasant taste in your mouth
• Headache
• Insomnia
• Unusual dreams

If you or a loved one has taken Chantix and experienced suicidal thoughts or behavior, you may have valid legal claim. Please contact Schlichter, Bogard & Denton today to schedule a confidential consultation.

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