Chantix is Pfizer’s pharmaceutical quit-smoking aid. People use it when they are unable to quit smoking on their own and they are concerned about the potential for heart or lung injury. Unfortunately, it seems that the drug may be an even more dangerous drug than previously suspected. This month, the FDA added a warning about the potential for serious cardiovascular effects among people who take it to try and quit smoking. This latest change in the labeling comes after a study showed people taking Chantix had a 72% increased risk of heart attack and stroke. to be sure, the study was too small to be definitive, but it confirmed a meta-analysis that was published just this month, showing similar results. In both cases, the number of deaths experienced in study populations was too small to give an accurate estimate of the relative mortality rate of people who took Chantix.
But this new side effect is added to the already lengthy list of dangerous side effects of the drug, which has been called “one of the most harmful prescription drugs on the US market,” by FDA safety researchers. In fact, Chantix was associated with more fatalities in the third quarter of 2010–twice as many fatalities reported as any other drug. One of the primary causes of these deaths is suicide, and now we know that Pfizer concealed reports of suicides associated with the drug since 2006. They reported the deaths, but did not report them separately as serious adverse events, lumping them instead with 26,000 other side effects such as skin rashes. We now know of nearly 300 suicides associated with the drug since its approval in 2006.
At least one FDA safety researcher has called for the drug to be pulled from the market, but this is unlikely, and it is unlikely that Pfizer will pull the drug on its own until it is seen as a financial liability. If you or a loved one suffered a tragic outcome as a result of taking Chantix, coming forward to file a pharmaceutical liability lawsuit could help Pfizer see the true cost of marketing this dangerous drug.
At Robert W. Kerpsack, CO, LPA we have helped thousands of Ohioans fight for their rights after being injured by the negligence of an individual or corporation. Please contact us today for a free case evaluation to learn whether we can fight for you.