Tag Archives: drug side effects

Users of Smoking Cessation Drug Chantix Experience Increased Aggressive Behavior

Over two million people attempt to quit smoking each year in the United States. Popular methods of quitting include using smoking cessation aids, such as nicotine replacement products or anti-nicotine medications.

Common effects of smoking cessation include increased levels of irritability and anxiety as the body adjusts to the lack of nicotine.

One common smoking cessation aid, anti-nicotine medication Chantix, has been linked to abnormal levels of aggression and violence amongst its users.

Pfizer’s Smoking Cessation Aid Chantix

Chantix is a smoking cessation aid manufactured by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. First approved by the FDA in 2006, this pill is intended to reduce users’ positive associations with smoking. It works by blocking in smokers’ brains the receptors that are stimulated by nicotine. It has been used by millions of people around the world as its popularity grows. In 2007, Chantix profits reached over $883 million.

Chantix lawsuits are on the riseReports indicate many users experiencing aggressive behavior and thoughts, including self harm and suicide, and lashing out at friends and family members when unprovoked. This has even occurred for people with no previous aggressive or violent behaviors. Pfizer has many lawsuits pending against it on the basis that the company did not disclose the risks of psychological side effects.

Study Documents Adverse Side Effects of Chantix

Chantix now leads the list of prescription drugs that are associated with acts of violence.  Results of a study published in PLoS ONE medical journal revealed that Chantix played a role in 408 cases of FDA reported adverse events. The second highest rate of incident was with the anti-depressant medication Paxil, with 177 cases. Not only are the reported rates of violence the highest, but the rates are proportionate to the number of people taking the medication.

Researchers speculate that the increased acts of violence are due to extra dopamine or serotonin released to the smoker’s brain while using the prescription medication, resulting in neuropsychiatric side effects. For people taking Chantix, the violent urges begin shortly after starting, and end quickly after discontinuing its use.

In 2009, manufacturers added to Chantix packaging a warning label depicting the potential hazards, including severe behavior changes and bouts of depression. Pfizer has also been required to do scientific trials on people with these symptoms to help determine their causes.

If you or someone you know has made the decision to quit smoking, talk about all your cessation options and strategies with your doctor.

Reference: “Chantix Side Effects Linked to More Violence Than Any Other Drug: Study”

US Judicial Panel May Seek Multidistrict Litigation for Mounting Chantix Lawsuits

Again, the stop smoking drug, Chantix, has made the news, and for a very sad reason.

The recent news story we are referring to is a pending lawsuit against Pfizer, Inc.

Parents of a Dallas Musician by the name of Carter Albrecht have filed the suit due to the death of their son who died while on the drug.

The report on CBS 11 stated the suit presses that Pfizer did not disclose the side effects and risks of taking Chantix, nor did they provide the adequate warning of the type of side effects that were known at the time Albrecht began ingesting the drug to quit his smoking habit.

Albrecht’s death occurred only one week after starting Chantix drug therapy. This was back in September 2007. Albrecht began to complain he was having very vivid dreams shortly after beginning the drug. Then, according to a Dallas Morning News report, Albrecht violently lashed out at his girlfriend the night of his death. She told others he was quite confused and terrified, and didn’t seem to know or recognize her, which was something that had never happened before.

Later that evening Albrecht showed up at a neighbors home and began banging on the back door violently, which evidently scared the neighbor. He called 911 and fired a warning shot from his rifle. Unfortunately, the shot accidentally hit Albrecht and killed him.

In the parents lawsuit they claim their son’s use of Chantix played a “direct and proximate” role in his death. One hope is that the attention of this lawsuit might prompt Pfizer to step up its public awareness of the risks associated with this approved drug.

Some of our site’s readers have reported they are on Chantix and doing okay (coping with the side effects). Others have said they understand the Chantix side effects and feel the risk is worth it. Still others have stopped taking the drug completely due to its effects.

At least those who have reportedly taken the drug who have commented at CiggyFree.com have been warned through reports they found on the internet disclosing Chantix may not be as safe they were led to believe. Hopefully, their doctors also stated the warning.

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The net is an incredible resource and a person can research views on just about anything. It’s very sad that Carter Albrecht did not receive the proper warnings. Perhaps it would have made a difference in his fate.

Maybe he would have also taken seriously the warning of mixing prescription drugs and alcohol like he did on the night of his death. Pfizer’s attorneys will most likely use this as a strong issue in their defense.

The Albrecht family’s lawsuit is not the first against Pfizer. There are many. The US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has a hearing scheduled at the end of September 2009 to view all the federal Chantix lawsuits with the intention to determine if they should be consolidated into one district.

At the beginning of September, Pfizer was hit hard with the largest health care fraud settlement in the history of the Department of Justice. They were asked to pay a 2.3 Billion dollar settlement over the illegal promotion of the painkiller Bextra.

In summary, yes, smoking can kill you. The use and misuse of prescription drugs can also kill you.

We highly support seeking alternative approaches to quit smoking. There are proven herbal stop smoking aids and stop smoking support programs that help address the motivation to smoke. These may be far better choices. Many of the programs CiggyFree.com supports report between a 92 to 96 percent success rate, plus they have guarantees or your money back.

Alternative approaches just may improve the quality of your life versus leading you down a path of unknown fate. That’s our opinion.

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