Chantix is a drug taken to reduce the urge to smoke. It works by blocking those receptors in the brain that cause one to enjoy the effects of nicotine. The drug is made by Pfizer who claims that Chantix has helped more than six million people stop smoking.
Like most prescription drugs, Chantix does have some proven side effects, some more serious than others. Some of this drug’s more serious side effects can be life threatening and, therefore, before taking the drug individuals should be made aware of the all of the symptoms of each side effect. Users should also be prepared to see a healthcare provider if they have any of the severe side effects of Chantix, as well as find another way to quit smoking. If they have experienced serious side effects, people taking Chantix should seek the advice of a qualified attorney to ascertain if they have a legitimate claim against Pfizer.
Serious Side Effects of Chantix
A study conducted in 2008 discovered more than 3,000 people who had taken Chantix had experienced one or more of the life-threatening side effects of the drug. This includes:
• Depression, psychosis, and psychosis along with suicidal thoughts or behavior.
• Inflammation of the mucous membranes of the skin that results in blisters, most often around the eyes, mouth, and genitals. This is known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS).
• A more serious form of SJS known as TENS. The blisters and rashes that occur with this condition can cause the top layer of skin to completely separate from the lower layers and eventually shed.
Depression and suicidal thoughts can be treated with therapy and anti-depressants. But the Chantix-related injuries can result in death if not treated immediately. Treatment in an intensive care unit is usually required.
Mild Side Effects of Chantix
Many people who take Chantix may experience less severe side-effects that include symptoms such as:
• Appetite changes
• Dry mouth
• Nausea and vomiting
• Problems sleeping and very realistic or strange dreams
Nausea is the most common of these symptoms. If any these symptoms continue for a long period, users should consult their physicians about switching to another stop-smoking option.
Warnings About Chantix
The best way to lessen the possibility of Chantix side effects is to be completely truthful with your healthcare provider about your medical history. People who are more at risk for side effects are those who have suffered from depression or any other mental health problems or those who have a history of severe allergic reactions. SJS and TENS are normally the result of such allergic reactions.
The FDA has not reported a specific number of deaths related to Chantix, however death can occur through either suicide or violent behavior while taking the drug. The first known death related to Chantix was a man who was shot when he broke down his neighbor’s door while experience hallucinations, mood swings, and agitated states.
Since this incident the FDA has published warnings about the signs and symptoms that may cause suicide or death while taking Chantix.
• Thoughts of suicide
• Suicidal behavior
• Mood swings
• Unusual and unexplained behavior
• Loss of ability to drive or operate heavy machinery
There have also been reports of automobile accidents connected to Chantix use. The FAA has outlawed the use of Chantix for all pilots and air traffic controllers in the United States.