Lately, scientists and doctors have become more suspicious of the stop-smoking drug, Chantix, due to its reported side effects. They have continuously urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to raise more awareness regarding the drug’s reported effect of increasing suicidal behavior and depression more than other related smoking-cessation remedies, including nicotine patches and gum. Since its launch in Britain, the reportedly dangerous drug has been prescribed to over a million smokers. As many as 39 of the 80 deaths in Britain alone were self induced. Aside from suicide, however, other medical side effects reported include: heart attacks, strokes, unprovoked violence and blackouts.
Chantix has been hotly debated since 2007, when the first concerns were brought to the FDA’s attention. The FDA’s first cautionary step was to place a “black box” label on the drug, warning doctors and patients about its side effects. Researchers believe, however, that this did not resonate enough with the public.
Dr. Curt Furberg, a professor of public health sciences at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, stated that people trying to overcome their tobacco habits are generally at a higher risk for psychological symptoms. Chantix, he claims, makes matters even worse: “The dramatic increase of these symptoms is caused by the drug. Among all the treatments we have for smoking cessation, Chantix is the worst.”
In a study, Furberg and his colleagues analyzed more than 3,000 reports of suicidal behaviors or depression in people taking Chantix, Zyban, or other nicotine replacement drugs. Of those reports, 90 percent were linked to Chantix. In reports of suicides by people taking these stop-smoking treatments, the study noted 92 percent were associated with Chantix. Furberg expressed his concern that “[t]he FDA’s own data show that Chantix is more dangerous than other treatments to stop smoking.”
Pharmaceutical companies are in the business of manufacturing and selling drugs to make a profit. Manufacturers are constantly introducing new drugs into the marketplace and, each year, thousands of people are injured or killed due to allegedly dangerous and defective characteristics.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of serious side effects from a dangerous drug and would like to speak with an attorney, please contact us; you can call us at (617) 742-1900, or if you are outside the Boston area, call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights.