Is Chantix the Next Class Action?

The Baltimore Sun reported last week that the FAA has banned pilots and air traffic controllers from using the quit-smoking drug Chantix following a study that found it had apparently contributed to auto accidents and other mishaps that posed risks to both users and others.

Chantix began as a success story, billed as a relatively risk free drug that helps you quit smoking in a far more civilized way than just quitting cold turkey. The “easier to quit smoking” part of the hype was as advertised: 44% of people taking Chantix were able to quit smoking in comparison to 17.7% percent of those taking placebos. Chantix is believed to block nicotine from stimulating the certain brain receptors, so nicotine would not give users the dopamine boost they receive when they smoke. Chantix also stimulates the release of low but consistent levels of dopamine to help decrease nicotine urge.

Correctly expecting the drug would be a real money maker ($883 million in 2007 alone), Pfizer had requested and received an accelerated review by the FDA and Chantix was approved in May of 2006. But it takes a while to see if serious side effect will emerge. Pfizer knows this as well as anyone from its experiences with Zoloft, a drug that was on the market for many years before reports of suicidal behavior (and lawyers filing lawsuits) forced Pfizer to put a warning on the drug.

Why doesn’t Pfizer just play it safe and put a suicide warning on the drug? As a lawyer who spent a number of years representing pharmaceutical companies, I certainly have a theory: warnings on the product label would have discouraged general practitioners from prescribing Chantix, which would have hurts sales. But in hindsight, not including a warning is going to cost Pfizer more in defending lawsuits and settling Chantix cases.

  • Judy harris

    chantix can also cause kidney failer. this was reported on T.V. under a class action law suit. I saw when I got out of the hospital with kidnay failure.

  • Steven York

    I didn’t have the suicidal tenancies others had. I was closer to the other side of wanting to do it to the other guy. I became a real loose cannon, embarassing myself time and again, but just not caring.

    I took the drug for 6 months under doctor supervision. I did quit smoking during this time and 6 months more. Kidneys hurt from time to time, nothing major.

    What I would like to convey is my cognative reasoning, especially math and memory have been affected. Its a real struggle to stay focused and am feeling a little hair-brained more so than not.

    I wish I had never taken the drug. I stated smoking again just to feel as sane as I used to, but to no avail. Hopefully this will wear off some day and am keeping my fingers crossed and pushing it on.

    … and yes, I think there should be some payment to the injured because of this drug.

  • Anonymous

    Chantex caused severe psychoses with me. I had to be hospitalized in a psychiatric unit for 2 months and I lost my children. I had to drop out of school, and it was like a bad drug trip. I can’t believe they are still marketing this stuff. My advice is to stay far away from it, lest you end up like me. This drug should be recalled immediately!

  • Anonymous

    Chantex worked wonderful for my husband, the ket to chantex is taking an a anxiety medication with it. Smokers are very anxious people. Dr to your Dr. about it. I have several friends that have quit on chantex.

  • larry whitehead

    I had a reaction that put me in intsive care for 5 days doctors could not say it was chantex however I was advised to stop taking it.




  • Frances Gandy

    I started taking it in 08 and have since wanted to commit suicide several times. Very depressed, I have wanted to just go and never come back… I did quit smoking, however I started back and so my doc put me back on Chantix stated that the not smoking out ways the other…

    Finally had to just stop taking it, due to so depressed and crazy I was cussing at my family, and screaming at them for no reason…. Smoking again, however my thoughts are still not wanting to be here at all…

  • Lee

    I started chantix November 2007 and took the 3 months worth of prescription. I did quit smoking and have been smoke free for 1yr and 7 mo.

    but at what cost to me? I still have very bad side affects due to the chantix. I can be fine one minute then the next I want to rip someones head off then the next I want to end my life, and as far as my dreaming!! I really do not dream anymore because of the chantix!! OH and not to mention it has about ruined my sex life!! I have very little sex drive since I have taken chantix. I would not have taken this drug if I knew this is what it was going to do to me!! when will I get back to normal???

  • Stan

    Chantex almost got me fired. I took it for 3 months and never quit smoking. I started to get real agressive saying things that normally you think in your mind but never say out loud.

  • Kim Mann

    I began taking chantix in 2007. i was very nauseous, became extremely anxious and depressed. was given anti anxiety and anti depression drugs. never did the doctors tell me it could be the chantix. finally after a few months i stopped taking it because of the severe nausea. it has been almost 2 years since i’ve taken chantix and i still have trouble sleeping, bouts of anxiety and depression and have developed severe spasms in my limbs. i firmly believe this is related to the use of chantix. my daughter in law told me the other day that i was fine until i started taking chantix. stay away from this drug. it is dangerous.

  • Jennifer

    Rosemary,that sounds just like me,I have been on this med for about 2 months and my bad side effects started way before. I am also cussing and screaming at the smallest things along with mood swings just being UGLY!! I also have bad headaches like everyday. My husband has relized my mood changes and said please just quit taking it!!!

  • kevin

    I guess that I am one of the lucky ones. I have not havd any of the bad sideaffects that everyone is talking about. I has been a wonder drug for me. I have been taken it for three weeks and am smoke free. YOU have to want to quit to work. YOU and only YOU can make that choice. Plus getting back to the side affects. This is a small amount of people. The web site of Chantex said that there have been 92 million scripts written and only .01% of people have call and complained, Instead of writting your problems here and discouraging people write to the manufactor. I hope that this helps anyone that wants to quit. Never and I say never believe what you read

  • Sally

    I have smoked for over 40 years and just recently started taking Chantex, my side effects have been an upset stomach, remedy is to have a spearmint candy, this helps me, I believe everyone has been depressed from time to time and anxious, maybe Chandex effects us in different ways that we blame this drug when taken, I am not a doctor or scientist, but Chandex is working for me…I have been smoke free for 65 days.

  • Aaron C England

    I am a 31 year old male who used Chantex for a little ove 1 month. I have a wife and 2 young children. Shortley after taking the drug my family and I noticed I was having very bad mood swing. It has gotten so bad just the slightest things set me off and drive me nuts. It has gotten so bad the love of my life has told me she was going to leave me. Since I have had no clue what to do I talked to my family doctor who has put me on anti depressants and anti anxiety medications. I have had no problems like this before taking this drug. It has helped somewhat with the depression but my anxiety is still very bad. I was a happy go luckey guy before chantex and now sometimes my family hates me because of my screaming cussing and mood swings. And yes I did start smoking again. I just want the old me back and so does my loving family. Aaron

  • Wally

    I took Chantix for one month and was taken from work to the emergency room where I was diagnosed with diabetes. I was fine before I started and only after taking chantix for 1 month I now have diabetes for life.

  • Beth Joiner

    On April Of 09 My Husband Of 32 years commentied suicide .He Blew His Head Off In The Back Yard.And He Would Have Never Done That If He Hadent Been Taking Chantiex.So I Brgg You If You Know Of Anyone Who Is Tkeing This Meds. Make Them Stop As Soon As Posible .He Was Also Taking Depresion Med,s .I Miss You Randy And God Bless You All

  • Travis Nichols

    I took this medication for 3 weeks and woke up one morning @530 with paramedics standing over me beside my wife and they claimed I had a seizure. When I was released I went home and laid down to take a nap and woke up an hour later to the paramedics over me again. Never had a seizure in my life until after starting chantix.

  • sharon

    come on people chantix is not gonna cause you to get diabetes and second off it sounds like most of you are already depressed before you started taking it soo why in the world would you start taking chantix and third dont blame a med for your problems at home lets be realistic the meds work when they are taking right

  • Hey, I am inquiring on the usage of Chantix. I was recently diagnosed with Epilepsy in 7/2011 after I started taking Chantix in 4/2011. This is the second go round with this drug. I also took it in 2008, wherein I was on an Anti-dressant and Anti-anxiety medication. I was hospitalized x2 and the 2nd I had a heart-cath, was diagnosed with Angina. I have Type I Juvenile Diabetes. I had no clue what was going on with me until lately. I began having blackout spells while driving anger outburst, dizziness, unable to focus. I frequently go to the doctor for my diabetes, I repeatedly told the doctors all the problems I was having. Until 7/2011 when my Primary care physician had an EEG perform and found the problem. I had a client ask the other day if I had recentlt taken Chantix, I told her yes and then I got to thinking and researching, and got to thinking of all the problems I had in 2008 while taking it,i.e developing migrane headaches, major depression, and now in 2011 EPILEPSY. I and forever damaged. I am unable to drive or be left alone. Although I am still working as a Paralegal, but I have trouble speaking, sometimes I have multiple seizures a day and that is taking 3 AED’s per day.
    Pam Case
    601-248-0776 cell

  • Doris

    This is inrespond to SHARON’s statement. You shouldn’t make a statement abt something you don’t know abt. I had a skin rash that came from taking chantix and a weakness of my heart, shortness of breath. Let’t learn to attend to our own business.

  • Lanny Nippe

    I’ve been impacted by smoking so thanks for sharing this post. My brother died from a stroke because of cigarette smoking. We were extremely close so this really is incredibly unfortunate. Thanks again

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