Margaret Bastian poses for a photo in Fairport, N.Y. Bastian had problems with the drug
Chantix, the highly touted quit-smoking pill, which has also been linked to dozens of
suicides and hundreds of suicidal behaviors (AP).

Government Recommends Tobacco Drug Linked to Suicide

May 09, 2008 05:50 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
by Liz Colville
The federal government is encouraging doctors to recommend the Pfizer drug Chantix to patients who want to quit smoking, despite side effects that can include depression and suicide.

30-Second Summary

The federal government’s latest guidelines for quitting smoking include the drug Chantix, produced by Pfizer. In recent studies, Chantix has been linked to depression and suicide.

The guidelines, released by the U.S. Public Health Service, do “mention psychiatric risks,” but conclude that the drug is “the most effective at helping people get off cigarettes,” especially in conjunction with therapy, reports the Associated Press.

Smoking researchers, educators, and watchdog members believe that the drug’s benefits do not outweigh its risks, and that the success rate is not as high as the Public Health Service and Pfizer claim.

In November 2007, the Food and Drug Administration began investigating Chantix after it “received reports of mood disorders and erratic behavior” among patients of the drug.

After reports of the detrimental side effects, Pfizer published more specific warnings on its Web site and halted advertising but continued to “roll out Chantix across the globe,” according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Headline Link: Drug for smokers poses safety risks

Background: Chantix receives FDA approval; subsequent studies show risks

Six clinical trials lead to Chantix approval by FDA
Chantix versus nicotine patches
‘Postmarketing’ studies of Chantix uncover serious risks
Patient cases: Chantix in the real world

Opinions & Analysis: Smoking educator sounds off on Chantix

Reference: Quit Smoking Web Guide


Most Recent Beyond The Headlines