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suicidal thoughts 42 articles

FDA now requiring stronger warnings on Chantix labels

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today that it will require drug manufacturers to put boxed warnings on the product labeling for Chantix (varenicline) and Zyban (bupropion hydrochloride, otherwise called Wellbutrin when prescribed as an antidepressant). Both Chantix and Zyban, commonly prescribed to patients as smoking cessation aids, have been linked to serious behavioral changes and other symptoms. Agitation, hostility, depression, and suicidal thoughts and actions are possible side effects that users should be keenly aware of, the FDA warns. “People who are taking Chantix or Zyban and experience any serious and unusual changes in mood or behavior or ... Read More

Pfizer might fund study of Chantix and reduced risk of heart attack

CNN reports that Pfizer is thinking about launching a clinical test to determine if Chantix can help prevent smokers from having heart attacks. Considering all the negative publicity that has surrounded the drug over the last one and a half years, it’s understandable that Pfizer would want to invest a good deal of time and money in finding some benefit … even if they locate just one slightly dubious side effect, such as a reduced risk of heart attack in people who have quit smoking. Such a finding would steer attention away from the host of negative side effects that Chantix ... Read More

More Canadians harmed by Chantix as government revises warnings

Health Canada has received 818 reports of adverse side effects caused by the smoking cessation drug Chantix (marketed in Canada and elsewhere as Champix) since it first became available to Canadians nearly two years ago. The majority of complaints concerned psychiatric problems. Chantix is known to cause or exacerbate a spectrum of psychiatric and physical reactions, including moodiness, depression, violent behavior, lack of sleep, blackouts, and suicidal thought and actions. Last month we reported that Health Canada was preparing to strengthen warnings on Chantix labels. However, Health Canada still has not taken action. In a report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Health ... Read More

The Chantix experience: salvation, downfall, or just plain strange?

Chantix has to be one of the most bipolar prescription drugs ever created. Every day, a search for the latest Chantix news digs up blogs written by fans of the smoking cessation drug, who often tout it as a miracle or a blessing in their struggle to become nonsmokers. Yet other users liken it to a nightmare or a curse, citing wild mood swings, disturbing dreams, and uncharacteristic thoughts of suicide. For many people, however, (including me), the Chantix experience isn’t one of wild extremes. It’s more like a strange trip through life with a brain that feels somehow different ... Read More

FDA broadens investigation of drugs and suicide

Many medical researchers find little surprise that Chantix has been linked to higher than normal rates of depression and suicide. Varenicline (the chemical name of Pfizer’s smoking cessation drug) goes to work directly in the brain by targeting certain receptors and simulating that feeling of having already smoked – that “full” feeling smokers feel after they’ve lit up one or two. Other pharmaceuticals that go to work directly in the brain include antidepressants, some of which have also been linked to behavioral problems and suicide. Now the FDA is paying closer attention to the potential psychiatric effects of non-psychiatric drugs. ... Read More

Military pharmacy pulls Chantix

According to a report in today’s Stars & Stripes, a daily newspaper published for the U.S. military, Department of Defense (DoD) civilians, contractors and their families, the anti-smoking medication Chantix (varenicline) has been pulled from at least one military pharmacy following reports of serious adverse reactions. Chantix, manufactured by Pfizer, was approved in 2006 and since that time has been prescribed to more than 4 million patients. However, not long after its release, the drug was linked to psychiatric problems including depression, suicidal thoughts and actions, and aggressive behavior. The drug also has been linked to serious physical side effects ... Read More

More veterans enrolled in Chantix study than originally revealed

George J. Lisicki, a Vietnam combat veteran and national commander for the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), had harsh words for the Veterans Administration (VA) today. “Those in the VA who failed to properly notify America’s veterans that their medication could produce fatal side effects must resign their positions,” Lisicki said. “If not, then the VA secretary must take decisive action to terminate their employment.” Lisicki issued the off-with-their-heads statement in response to reports (link) that the VA may have acted irresponsibly in its study of Chantix using veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The VA originally said that ... Read More

VA warns veterans about the dangers of Chantix

Responding to widespread pressure from many congressmen, veteran’s organizations, and the general public, the Veterans Administration announced today that it would directly notify all of its veterans currently using Pfizer’s new smoking cessation drug Chantix. The number of veterans on Chantix is approximately 32,000. Chantix is known to create or worsen several neuropsychiatric conditions including suicidal thought and actions. All of the 940 veterans in the VA study had been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 143 of those veterans were selected to receive Chantix. Those veterans were given the drug and $30 monthly payments. The FDA published its first Chantix ... Read More

Outcry grows over VA Chantix tests

On Monday ABC News and The Washington Times broke a report on the Veterans Administration testing Pfizer’s smoking cessation drug Chantix on 140 veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The VA administered the drug to the soldiers without warning them about months-old discoveries linking Chantix to a range of neuropsychiatric behavior and illness, including depression, loss of sleep, vivid dreams, suicidal thoughts, and suicidal actions. Yesterday, Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Barack Obama (D-IL) rebuked the VA and demanded an investigation. Both the White House and VA officials dismissed the criticism, with White House deputy press secretary Tony ... Read More

Senators Obama and Cornyn question VA over Chantix tests

Yesterday, ABC News and The Washington Times broke a story about Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) receiving Chantix as part of a study conducted by the Veterans Administration. Today ABC reports that Senators Barack Obama (D-IL) and John Cornyn (R-TX) are demanding an investigation. In the study, the VA gave 140 US soldiers with PTSD Chantix, not revealing to them that the drug had been linked to a number of physical and psychological side effects, including anxiety, nervousness, tension, depression, suicidal thoughts, attempted suicide, and actualized suicide. The Food and Drug Administration issued Chantix warnings ... Read More