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Chantix Update: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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Jacksonville, ORThere has been much development on the Chantix portfolio in recent months that speaks to the Jekyll-and-Hyde personality of the smoking cessation drug introduced by Pfizer in 2006. Released amidst much fanfare and embraced by smokers trying to quit, Chantix was soon derailed by allegations of Chantix suicide and Chantix lawsuits.

To that end, the first two of eight bellwether lawsuits have a court date, as ordered by US District Court Judge Inge Johnson in Alabama. The October 22nd court date, and the subsequent trial will be watched closely, for this is the first test case. There are thousands of Chantix lawsuits in the pipeline.

Chantix targets those neuroreceptors in the brain responsible for the pleasurable feeling that smokers derive from inhaling, shielding those receptors from the influence of nicotine. The theory: if smokers are robbed of the pleasure associated with smoking, quitting will be easier.

Clinical trial data on Chantix prior to approval was impressive. Critics, however, cite that study participants were carefully screened for best results, and had the benefit of one-on-one professional counseling that most Americans trying to quit would not have access to.

When Chantix hit the market, various Chantix side effects soon overshadowed the success some smokers were having with Chantix.

Those side effects included Chantix suicide—which is the focus of the first bellwether lawsuit to be heard in October. Plaintiff Judy Ann Whitley claims the loss of her husband as an unlawful death. Mark Alan Whitley took his own life in 2007 after he began using Chantix to help him quit smoking.

Some Chantix users have enjoyed remarkable success, while others have experienced Chantix aggression, Chantix suicidal thoughts and other problems, including vivid nightmares. It appears as if Chantix, because it targets the brain, affects people differently.

Pfizer was no doubt buoyed by recent news that Chantix does not increase the risk of heart attacks, stroke or other cardiovascular concerns, according to a recent study by the University of California and published in the British Medical Journal. According to the Houston Chronicle (5/6/12), the results debunk an earlier study from last July, which suggested cardiovascular risk. The authors of the original study reportedly stand by their results.

Meanwhile, HealthDay News carried a report in February that a small study appears to show Chantix may help problem drinkers curtail their consumption of, and dependence on, alcohol.

"Chantix might reduce alcohol consumption by reducing overall enjoyment of the alcohol drinking experience," said study author Emma Childs, a research associate at the University of Chicago, in comments published in HealthDay (2/15/12).

"Chantix increased the unpleasant effects of alcohol, for example feeling drowsy and irritable, [and] participants also reported that they didn't like the alcohol effects as much," Childs said.

The study appears in the May, 2012 print edition of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. Study authors admit the sample size of 15 participants was a limitation, and further research involving far more participants will be needed to achieve an accurate and definitive outcome.

Will Chantix eventually have an indication for problem drinkers, as well as smokers?

"We are not currently performing any studies with Chantix," Childs said, "although other groups are actively pursuing this line of research with a view to developing Chantix as an aid to people wanting to quit or cut down their drinking."

In the meantime, Chantix and suicide continues to be a concern. The second of two bellwether Chantix lawsuits is scheduled for January of next year. The plaintiff in that action represents the estate of Sandra Corey of Jacksonville, Oregon. Corey, according to the lawsuit, began using Chantix October 2, 2007, and soon experienced the onset of depression. Corey committed Chantix suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot wound on July 24 of the following year.

A third bellwether case is that of plaintiff Billy Bedsole Jr. who, according to the Birmingham News of Alabama (3/26/12), claims to have suffered insomnia, severe anxiety, severe depression, erratic behavior and Chantix aggression, and suicidal ideation and hospitalization after taking Chantix.

The manufacturer of Chantix defends its product. In a release, the manufacturer stated: ''Pfizer stands by Chantix, which is an effective treatment option for adult smokers who want to quit, and has been approved in 100 countries and prescribed to 15 million smokers, including eight million in the United States,'' Pfizer said in response to questions from the Birmingham News.

According to figures published in the Birmingham News, there are no fewer than 2,498 cases as part of the Chantix MDL, with an additional 68 Chantix lawsuits pending in New York state courts.


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Posted by

I have a girlfiend for 11 years and we love together very intensly for 11 years and when she start the product ... she come a other girl completly and she start to hate me very bad for nothing

the girl personality i like die when she start the products ....

i vote for remove the products because its changing life and destroy people and all

so more than 5 years pass and i never heard anything from she ...

she will continu to be the woman of my life but the mind its not there anymore so its like she dead for me

if i continu my fights its because i dont want anyone pass by where i pass with this ...

Posted by

I quit within a month with chantix. All was well until i had a blackout night and cut my wrist. I have never done this before. I will not be taking anymore. But I have given up cigs and alcohol with it!

Posted by

I'm sorry to hear that your dallusuonal on chantex. I've been on chantex for 1 week now. No vivid dreams, no nightmares, no side effects and no Tommy aches. I'm positive smoking is not safer. It kills and causes cancer in so many patients a year that chantex is a blessing to have. All medications have risk so quit with the downfall. Don't let knowone on here talknow you out of your goal. If you catch cancer neither one of them will be at your chemo appts. So do what you haft to do to get healthy. If that means taking a risk then you do it with strength. Ask Jesusomeone our Lord to prevent your side effects and vivid dreams. Jesus bless

Posted by

Chantix is far less effective the second time you start a prescription regimen. I quit the first time for a year but started again while deployed in Iraq. Now i'm on a prescrip again and it's odd. It's like my brain actually recognizes that a foreign substance is infiltrating and it is actively fighting back. Increased aggression as well.

Posted by

I took Chantix for two months and besides some mild to moderate nausea, had NO troubling side effects. I'm still smoke-free and would never have been able to kick my ten year habit without it.

Posted by

One of the ladies summed it up for me. there is not enough space here to adequately describe the hell Chantix put me through. It was like being insane for about a year. The seizures and the blisters in my mouth, insomnia, hostility, were terrifying. I almost lost my business. I lost many dear friends. Many of the side effects came after I quit. I had to get back on it and slowly wean off of it. The worst of it faded away after about three years.

I still suffer from a profound lack of will to live. I'm not suicidal, I just don't care if I check out or not. I think it really hurt my liver, too.

I would never advise anyone to take that stuff. It nearly killed me. I have, however been smoke free for about 7 years. After the price I paid, it would be crazy to go back to the nicotine. If I thought it would bring back my old self, I would start up again.

Please don't take Chantix. Smoking is safer.

Posted by

i read your post teri and kiraj and now im terrified to take chantix again, i made it 1 year not dipping copenhagen on chantix.
my dad was dying and i was building a home and the pressure got to me and i started again. after 2 more attempts and failures i have come to believe that my brain figured out the ruse. chantix had zero effect on my receptors in my opinion.
the first attempt was only 8 days of cutting pills in half due to the intense nauseau. i swear i quit chewing because of the nausea. lol it was a horrible way to wake up every day.
since my first attempts my consumption of tobacco has tripled and now im faced with another attempt cold turkey with more of an addiction than i had the first time.
i had the dream issues however you ladies have had far worse issues with them than i ever did.
i agree totally with the fact that weed has been villafied and rx drugs hailed. its corporate drug dealing with no regard for its victims.
i am not a 420 guy, i raised kids against it but after 16 back surgeries and a neck fusion i believe that wed is better than opiates. the oxy w/drawls were almost my end game. i have not taken any opiates for 5 years now and i fel 100% better.

im considering smoking pot intensely for 2 weeks until i have gotten past the initial w/drawl symptoms.
i will post again if i make it.
38 years of copenhagen and i still have my smile, but my family hates it and the cost is ridiculous.
im sorry you all had such a terrible time, these corps are murderous

Posted by

@Scott Taylor, Well congrats to you. Thousands have not been so lucky and hundreds are no longer with us, including ones that weren't even taking Chantix but were killed or permanently injured because of someone else who was. Trust me I know first hand what this stuff can do.

This drug needs to be taken off the market it is NOT a life extender.... quite the contrary. Unfortunately big pharma doesn't care, it's about their bottom line.

The good news is there's a chance it will be taken off the market in 2017 when the final clinical trials come out the FDA order Pfizer to do and they should have done before this crap was ever released to the masses.

Posted by

I used Chantix for 3 weeks and had no side effects and haven't had a cig in 11 months. I'm just weird that way.. This stuff ROCKs!

Posted by

Chantix is a horrible drug. It put me in a maniacal rage, I was angry with everything, the dogs, my husband- everything. I really had an urge to break and smash things and wanted to harm my husband. I'm just not like that, I'm a rational, calm, good natured 65 year old woman. I don't know why a drug that dangerous can be on the market, we make marijuana illegal but peddle drugs that cause people dangerous psychiatric symptoms? (I finally quit smoking by using electronic cigarettes, I guess big pharma can't make any money off of those which is why most people don't even hear about them)

Posted by

I took two, complete, regimens of Chantix in '07. Endured two, long, hospital stays PLUS psyche unit, in '08. When Chantix hit the market, I hit the bricks. Was beYOND excited to get started!!

At first, it DID hit on the smoking receptors...and YES, the pleasure was no longer there!! Holy this IT??!! Am I done smoking???!!!! THAT was easy!!!! Then, the cravings came back after a couple smoke free months . Embarrassed I failed, admitted defeat, then asked doc for another script.

Something went TERRIBLY wrong the second time around. My dreams were no longer my own. Remember dreaming of deceased, loved ones coming to my room at nite, happy and healthy, BEGGING me to come w/them. Tried to CONVINCE me my job was done here. Their hugs were so real...would've bet the house they were there.

After months of running on empty and feeling beYOND exhausted...I listened. My first hospital stay was due to severe chest pains, extreme shortness of breath, stomach spasms as strong as contractions and a BLINDING headache...taken by ambulance in middle of nite. Stayed a week. Receive extensive testing, oxygen, morphine and antibiotic and fluid drips. Diagnosis - - possible virus.

Second hospital stay a few months later. Feeling thoroughly confused, drained and helpless/hopeless because of the DISTURBINGLY TWISTED dreams nite after nite...decided they were right. I was just taking up space. Took long drive to rural area singing to oldies and picking up 3 bottles of sleeping pills and razor blades.

Woke up six days later surrounded by devastated, heartbroken family members...when being removed from ventilator. Remember choking on the hose as they pulled it out wondering where was I??? What the....??

I'm not some young junkie. I'm a proud grandma of six, wife of 37 years, happy employee for past 23 years. So stable, could be considered "boring." I took this drug in good faith and with only the best intentions. I loved my life. I just wanted to stay longer and dance at my grandchildren's weddings!!!

Wow....whoa....there's not enough room here for me to accurately explain the HELL I've gone try and regain my comfortable, quiet, position as the family matriarch. My life as I knew over. Family relations have been permanently severed. No one could beLIEVE or understand how/why I could DO such a thing!!!

I don't have an answer. I beat my head against a wall trying to FIND one! It didn't work. I was hours away from being 6-ft. under...and no one...but, NO ONE would have put Chantix in the equation. My family thought I had quit smoking years ago!! It took an outsider months LATER to tell me to do my own research on this drug. my HORROR, I discovered the TRUTHS of what goes on behind closed doors...between big pharma, doctors and FDA. I feel like such a fool. How could I be so naive and gullible at my age???

It's a cold, cruel, greedy, world we live in folks. We are expendible, disposable and replaceable. We are a number...and that is IT!! Maybe this isn't news to some...but, it was for me. To say, "I'm disillusioned, is a total understatement." It's more like shock.


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