Chantix (varenicline) is a prescription medication used to treat smoking addiction. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May of 2006 as an aid to smoking cessation. It has been prescribed to more than 4 million patients in the United States since its approval. Chantix is the first non-nicotine prescription treatment for smoking cessation in almost a decade.
Manufactured by Pfizer, Chantix is a selective nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonist. As a partial agonist, it both reduces cravings for and decreases the pleasurable effects of cigarettes and other tobacco products, and through these mechanisms, it can assist some patients in stopping smoking.
What is the trouble with Chantix?
Rushed through the FDA approval process because of its potential to help millions, Chantix fell under increasing scrutiny as one report after another demonstrated the darker side of the drug. People began to report serious neuropsychiatric symptoms, including changes in behavior, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior.
Additionally, a May 2008 report from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) cited 224 reported instances of potential heart-rhythm disturbances, 372 reports of possible movement disorders and 544 reports of glycemic problems including diabetes, linked to Chantix use. There also were documented reports of falls and traffic accidents where people were using Chantix.
A watchdog group, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, also linked Chantix to a wide array of health and safety problems, including accidents and falls, potentially lethal heart rhythm disturbances, heart attacks, seizures, diabetes and various psychiatric disturbances.
Following these reports, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) banned Chantix use by pilots and air traffic controllers. In August 2008, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) all but outright banned the use of Chantix for commercial drivers. While it did not specifically name Chantix as a banned substance, it indicated that drivers using the drug would be in violation of the general FMCSA policy prohibiting “prescribed substances or drugs that adversely affect the driver’s ability to safely operate a commercial vehicle.”
Lawyers in our Mass Torts section work solely on behalf of individual plaintiffs that were injured by defective medical devices and dangerous drugs. For more than 30 years, we have successfully handled thousands of defective drug claims, and have recovered more than $21 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients.
Do you have a Chantix claim?
If your loved one has suffered a serious injury or death as a result of a side effect of Chantix, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, loss of wages, and pain and suffering.
Please contact our Chantix lawyers today by filling out the brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number (1-800-898-2034) for a free, no-cost, no-obligation legal evaluation of your case.