Chantix Lawsuits May Target Wide Range of Side Effects

Ryan Green | January 24th, 2012

Numerous options exist for individuals seeking to quit smoking, from peer support to nicotine replacement products, but some who relied on the prescription drug Chantix for help are now allegedly suffering from serious Chantix side effects. Manufactured by Pfizer, the smoking cessation drug was introduced to the U.S. market in 2006. Since that time, the medication has been criticized by patients and medical professionals for causing severe Chantix mood swings, and even Chantix suicide.

Chantix suicide sparks scrutiny

In 2009, the FDA required Pfizer to include a “black box” warning on the drug to alert patients to the risk of significant psychological Chantix side effects. These include Chantix mood swings, increased aggression and hostility, depression, suicidal thoughts, mania, paranoia, hallucinations, confusion, blackout injuries, and abnormal sensations. In some cases, the adverse psychological effects caused by the drug have led some individuals to commit Chantix suicide.

Severe Chantix mood swings and psychological disturbances are not the only Chantix side effects reported. The drug is also known to cause rashes with peeling skin and mouth blisters, allergic reactions, and heart problems. Several reports have also suggested a connection between Chantix and new-onset diabetes.

Chantix mood swings subject of study

A 2011 Chantix side effects study that appeared in PLoS One, the peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the Public Library of Science, reviewed over 3,000 reports of suicidal behaviors or depression in people taking Chantix and other smoking cessation drugs. The authors found that 90 percent of the reports were associated with taking Chantix.

In cases of actual suicide, 92 percent were associated with Chantix. Both the scientific and anecdotal evidence of Chantix mood swings and Chantix suicide has sparked calls from medical professionals and patient advocates to limit use of the drug or recall it entirely.

FDA orders review of Chantix side effects

In an acknowledgement of the growing concern over psychological Chantix side effects, the FDA has directed Pfizer to conduct further clinical trials of its product. The results of those clinical trials, which are expected to focus on Chantix mood swings and Chantix suicide attempts, are expected in 2017.