Pfizer Chantix Side Effects Like Mental Distress Are Spawning Law Suits

by Terry Bryant

Many tobacco users who are using Varenicline to help them quit smoking have experienced severe Chantix related symptoms. This drug has shown to be effective in helping people give up cigarettes, so it has been regularly prescribed since 2006. In the last few years, though, many people using Chantix have filed a lawsuit for complications associated with its use. The FDA has issued several warnings about Varenicline and now requires the drug’s manufacturer, Pfizer, to put a black box warning on the packaging. This is the strongest warning the FDA can administer.

Varenicline works by blocking nicotine receptors in the brain. It is technically only a partial nicotine agonist, which means that it bonds with the same receptors as nicotine and activates them. However, it is less efficient at doing so, so it dulls the pleasurable effects derived from receptor activation. It also prevents nicotine from bonding, reducing dopamine release and slowly eroding dependency. It is among the most effective drugs available for smoking cessation. Studies show that it improves the chances of long term abstinence by two-fold versus quitting without pharmaceutical help.

Neuropsychiatric Chantix related symptoms, though, can be severe. These complications can take on many forms.  They include drowsiness, erratic behavior, aggression, suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior. In some cases, people have been driven to committing suicide, and this has pushed many families into filing a Chantix related lawsuit. Many plaintiffs did not express any psychiatric disturbances before taking the drug, and doctors caution that it can exacerbate existing mental issues. People who take Chantix may experience symptoms after stopping treatment, which may suggest that patients might be experiencing some sort of withdrawal from Varenicline.