More Chantix Lawsuits Allege Suicide Than Heart Attack

Ryan Green | October 6th, 2011

Many recent news reports have focused on patients who suffered Chantix heart problems and/or heart attack as a result of using the drug, also known as varenicline, to try to quit smoking. However, as an experienced Chantix lawyer can attest to, the majority of Chantix lawsuits continue to be filed over the side effects of Chantix suicide and/or depression.

FDA concerned by Chantix heart problems

Reports from patients and doctors about Chantix heart problems and/or heart attack prompted the FDA to issue a public drug safety communication about Chantix in July 2011. The safety alert warned of an increased risk of “cardiovascular adverse events” linked with the smoking cessation drug. The FDA used the opportunity to bring the medical community’s attention to Chantix heart problems such as heart attack, coronary revascularization surgery, and vascular disease.

Chantix suicide lawsuits outnumber heart cases

Though a number of patients have filed lawsuits after experiencing Chantix heart problems and/or heart attacks, most Chantix lawsuit plaintiffs allege to have suffered neuropsychiatric side effects, such as depression, rage, increased hostility, and violent behavior. In many cases, plaintiffs allege that the depression caused by the anti-smoking medication led to a Chantix suicide attempt, or sometimes a completed Chantix suicide.

In 2009, the FDA stamped its strongest “black box” warning on the Chantix side effects label. The warning was intended to alert patients to the litany of “serious mental health events” that were submitted by patients to the drug agency’s Medwatch adverse events reporting program.

New Chantix suicide lawsuit might be transferred to Alabama

Chantix lawsuits filed in federal courts throughout the country — including those precipitated by a Chantix suicide attempt — were consolidated into multidistrict litigation in 2010. Over 1000 cases have so far been transferred to the Alabama District Court selected by a panel of federal judges to be the location for the MDL.

Overseeing MDL Judge Inge P. Johnson will likely establish separate representative bellwether trials according to specific injuries alleged in Chantix lawsuits. In other words, the Chantix lawsuit selected for one bellwether trial might be that of a plaintiff claiming to have developed Chantix heart problems and/or heart attack, while another will have been filed by a plaintiff alleging Chantix suicide.