A new study authored by Thomas J. Moore, Joseph Glenmullen and Curt D. Furberg—and published recently in the journal PloS One, crunched data from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Adverse Event Reporting System. They found 31 drugs they identified, according to the numbers, as disproportionately linked with reports of violent behavior toward others.
Chantix topped the list. As Chantix side effects go, aggression and suicide are among the most concerning.
The researchers, working under the auspices of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, "extracted all serious adverse event reports for drugs with 200 or more cases received from 2004 through September 2009," note the authors in their paper. "We identified any case report indicating homicide, homicidal ideation, physical assault, physical abuse or violence-related symptoms.
"We identified 1,527 cases of violence disproportionally reported for 31 drugs. Primary suspect drugs included varenicline [Chantix], 11 antidepressants, 6 sedative/hypnotics and 3 drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder."
In their research, the authors noted that while Chantix has proven effective for smoking cessation in some patients and cannot be ruled out, nonetheless, varenicline was found to be the worst offender of not only the top 31, but of 484 evaluable drugs. Out of 11,393 adverse reaction reports in total for Chantix, 408 cases were identified as violent—making Chantix 18 times more likely to be associated with violent behavior and Chantix aggression than other drugs.
In comparison, bupropion was 3.9 times as likely, and nicotine was 1.9 times as likely to foster aggressive behavior.
READ MORE CHANTIX LEGAL NEWS
The study did not isolate Chantix suicide, which is in effect an act of Chantix aggression toward oneself. However, the message is clear that while Chantix can prove to be an effective weapon for chronic quitters (smokers who try various magic bullets to kick the habit, only to fail…), the costs to some in terms of Chantix aggression and other Chantix side effects can be potentially devastating.
Various Chantix warnings are included in the product medication guides, including a black box warning—the strongest language available within the FDA's regulatory authority.