Chantix Lawsuit – Information on Filing Lawsuits
Shortly after the FDA approved the smoking-cessation drug Chantix in 2006, reports of Chantix side effects started coming in. Most concerning of these were suicide and suicidal thoughts.
As early as November 20, 2007, the FDA stated that they were evaluating adverse event reports on these Chantix side effects. A few months later, on February 1, 2008, they released a public health advisory stating, “it appears increasingly likely that there may be an association between Chantix and serious neuropsychiatric symptoms.”
What causes Chantix suicide?
Chantix targets the nicotine receptors in the brain, causing less dopamine (a pleasure chemical) to be released. The result is that the smoker does not get as much satisfaction as usual from the cigarette, and will be less likely to want another one.
At the time of their 2008 warning, the FDA had received nearly 500 reports of suicidal thoughts, behaviors, and completed suicide. Some scientists theorize that because Chantix blocks nicotine from activating dopamine, it also may block other molecules from activating it, causing dopamine levels to plunge to low levels—which could lead some individuals to experience mental health problems like depression.
Black box warning on Chantix depression
By July 2009, the FDA had issued another public health advisory, this time requiring new black-box warnings on Chantix, alerting patients and physicians to Chantix side effects like “changes in behavior such as hostility, agitation, depressed mood, and suicidal thoughts or actions.”
A year later, the FDA became aware that Pfizer had been submitting adverse event reports through improper channels, and that 150 reports of suicide had gone unnoticed. Get more information about Chantix attempted suicide.
Meanwhile, researchers at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center reviewed adverse event reports from 1998 to 2010, and found that Chantix was eight times more likely to be linked with a reported case of suicidal behavior or depression than other nicotine replacement products (PLoS One, November 2, 2011).
Reports of Chantix suicide increase
In 2010, the U.S. Judicial Panel of Multidistrict Litigation transferred federal Chantix side effects lawsuits to the District Court in Alabama. Over 1,200 Chantix lawsuit plaintiffs now have their cases proceeding in that court, with the majority claiming damages associated with suicide and depression.
In 2011, the FDA required Pfizer to conduct additional clinical safety trials to further assess neuropsychiatric adverse events as outcomes, but the results aren’t expected until 2017.