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Phone: (800) 933-4448

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Chantix Linked to Suicidal Behavior, Drowsiness, and Other Serious Side Effects

The popular anti-smoking drug Chantix has resulted in incidents of suicide, depression, aggressive behavior, loss of consciousness, and drowsiness in a growing number of patients who have taken the drug.

On November 20, 2007, the Food and Drug Administration began reviewing reports of suicidal behavior submitted to the administration by the drug maker, Pfizer, as well as instances of other side effects associated with Chantix.

Chantix was approved by the FDA on May 11, 2006 to help people quit smoking. It was the first non-nicotine prescription treatment for smoking cessation to be released in almost a decade, and became a huge financial success for Pfizer. More than 5 million people worldwide have taken the drug to kick their smoking habits as Chantix sales have exceeded $800 million.

Chantix is a selective nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonist. It blocks sites in the brain that are affected by nicotine and may help people who want to give up smoking in two ways: by providing some nicotine effects to ease the withdrawal symptoms, and by blocking the effects of nicotine from cigarettes if the patient resumes smoking.

The FDA recommended that healthcare professionals closely monitor patients taking Chantix for behavior and mood changes. Patients taking Chantix should contact their doctors if they experience behavior or mood changes. Patients should use caution when driving or operating machinery until they know how using Chantix to quit smoking may affect them.

A clinical study released by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices in May 2008 cited “adverse events” associated with Chantix, including hundreds of accidents ranging from slip and falls to traffic accidents caused by loss of consciousness, dizziness, confusion, and muscle spasms.

The study prompted the government to impose sweeping new restrictions for some employees taking the controversial drug. The Federal Aviation Administration banned all of its pilots and air traffic controllers from using Chantix. An estimated 150 pilots and 30 air traffic controllers were either taking the drug or had taken it in the past, according to the FAA. The administration ordered all pilots and air traffic controllers to stop taking Chantix and wait at least 72 hours before returning to work.

Also, the Federal Motor Vehicle Carrier Safety Administration – part of the U.S. Department of Transportation that oversees busing and trucking – ruled in May 2008 that taking Chantix could make interstate truck and bus drivers unfit for work.

Legal Help is Available

We are investigating claims that individuals have attempted suicide as well as families who have had a loved one commit suicide while taking Chantix. Our law firm is available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today for a free, no obligation, legal consultation by completing the case evaluation form on the right side of this page or by calling 1-800-WE-FIGHT (1-800-933-4448).

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