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Chantix Suicide Measured In Lives Lost

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Victoria, BCHeidi Clow committed Chantix suicide. Champix suicide actually, given that Chantix sold in Canada is vended under the name Champix. But it's the same stuff. And the young woman from British Columbia took her own life at the age of 22, five months after starting on Champix to help her quit smoking. The Canadian woman had no history of depression prior to starting on the Canadian equivalent of Chantix, and articulated that Champix was "(expletive) her up" at some point before she died.

Chantix and suicide has long been a concern since the smoking cessation drug appeared on the market amidst a wave of potential. But the promise soon turned sour, as Chantix users who quickly embraced the new product began to experience aggressive Chantix side effects.

In Canada, the government regulator equivalent to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) logged 1,724 adverse reaction reports to Champix in the five years spanning January 2007 through December 31 of last year, according to Health Canada.

And various health advocates regard Chantix and its Canadian twin Champix with complete and utter disdain. Canwest News (5/13/12) referenced the recent efforts of Dr. Curt Furberg, a professor of public health sciences at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina, in urging the FDA to further strengthen the warning labels for Chantix.

In an email to Canwest, Furberg referenced the Canadian version of Chantix as "the worst".

"I stand behind my view that Champix is one of the most harmful drugs on the market, and that the long-term benefit (smoking cessation after 12 months) is very modest."

Various Chantix lawsuits allege harm suffered at the behest of the drug. In Ontario, Canadian Ken Parker has launched a Champix lawsuit after attempting suicide as the result, it is alleged, of his Champix use. While Parker's suicide attempt was unsuccessful and the 58-year-old has returned to work, he is nonetheless divorced from his wife and estranged from his children. Ross Parker maintains his brother, who suffered an emotional breakdown prior to the suicide attempt, will never recover from the negative effects associated with the drug.

"I believe my mental breakdowns and suicide attempt were caused by Champix," the plaintiff's affidavit says.

Similar thoughts were expressed by Patricia Clow, the mother of Heidi. According to an affidavit associated with a class action lawsuit Clow launched against Pfizer Inc. and Pfizer Canada in 2010, "I believe [Heidi's] death was a result of her taking Champix."

Chantix warnings—and related cautions associated with Champix—speak to the potential for Chantix aggression and Chantix suicide, together with suicidal thoughts.

What has some health advocates in Canada's western-most province upset is a recent decision by the BC government to make Champix and a competing drug available to citizens free of charge through a smoking cessation program.

Alex Cassels, a drug policy researcher with the University of Victoria, noted that the same week British Columbia announced its decision to fund the use of Champix for the purposes of smoking cessation; France took Chantix off its formulary.

"When a government takes a major drug off the formulary—which says we don't believe it's safe or effective—that's something you have to listen to," Cassels told Canwest.

It is not known what role Chantix plays in such adverse reactions, in tandem with the challenges normally associated with quitting what is for many a life-long habit. Results very according to the individual. Nonetheless, various reports of serious Chantix side effects continue to percolate, including disturbing dreams, agitation and Chantix aggression, and Chantix suicidal.

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READER COMMENTS

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I took It for five day In feb 08 Im still not right think of suicide all the time.The VA gave It to me In late 07 but wanted to wait till all the get togethers were over to stop. I was very happy and very confident..I was on a Antidepresant and a anti anxity med also on pain meds.Happiness Is over confidence is gone And has been since then ,anything else goes wrong I will take my life.I can hardly leave my home unless I know exacly what Is going to happen. But I did not kill myself so no case!!

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