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Pfizer to Settle 80 Percent of Chantix Lawsuits

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Washington, DCMore than 80 percent of the 2,700 federal and state Chantix lawsuits facing Pfizer look as if they could be settled. Pfizer, the maker of the controversial smoking cessation drug known generically as varenicline, faces a raft of lawsuits alleging Chantix causes suicide, suicide attempts and other psychiatric disturbances.

In order to make the settlements, Pfizer has taken a $273 million charge to cover the costs, and has set aside $15 million for finalizing the remaining claims.

These “batch” settlements follow the two individual “bellweather” Chantix lawsuits which were settled for undisclosed amounts. The first, settled in October 2012, was filed by the wife of Mark Whitely, a Chantix user who committed suicide. The second lawsuit was settled directly with the plaintiff, plaintiff Billy G. Bedsole, Jr., who alleged his use of Chantix triggered his experiencing suicidal thoughts and other psychiatric problems. Chantix carries a "black box" warning to alert patients and doctors to the risk of psychiatric side effects.

Most recently, the Food and Drug Administration has determined that Chantix could be associated with an increased risk for heart attack.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
Early in its release (before the warnings), I took Chantix to assist with smoking cessation. Not even two weeks into the drug, I was awake at 3am, pacing in my sun-porch, trying to decide the best method to "end it all," one that would not upset my family. I remember that "light-bulb" moment like it was yesterday. I knew, at that moment, something was severely wrong and that I'd never felt that way before taking Chantix. (I had had issues with Wellbutrin though not as severe.)

That day, I called my prescribing physician and told her of the episode only to have her chastise me by saying, "Aw, you're only depressed because you have to stop smoking. It isn't the drug making you feel that way."

I had made her aware of the issues I experienced with Wellbutrin, but because Chantix had no warning labels at the time, she sided with the drug and not with me.

If I had listened to her and continued with the medication, I definitely would have quit smoking--for good--because I would have completed the suicide I had been contemplating. Of this, I am certain.

Yes, I'm still smoking, but I am alive to tell this story. That's good enough for me.

Posted by

on
I took Chantix in 2008. Until the third month, I had no side affects. By the third month, I had completely quit smoking but started having more nausea, so I quit taking it. I have not had a cigarette since. That part I like about the drug. The part I don't like, I'm not fun any more, I seem to be so serious, I argue with everyone. I know this isn't me but I don't know how to change. This slowly started after taking Chantix and I it just gets worse with time. Is there anything that can be done?

Posted by

on
After the third time being prescribed Chantix I have now not taking the drug for six months but I have nightmares 80% of the time I sleep which wakes me up 100% of the time and is causing serious problems due to lack of sleep and psychological problems

Posted by

on
Twice in a four year span I took Chantix to quit smoking...both times it worked.. I had no desire to smoke after 4-5 weeks of taking it ..both times I ended up in the ICU for trying to commit suicide...both times I ended up in a mental health institution. At the time I don't believe anyone was aware that it had this side effect. It wasn't till much later did the warning get announced..

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