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Chantix and Zyban, Used to Quit Smoking, Linked to Over 100 Suicides

March 26, 2010
By Dan Irving Cytryn, Esq. on March 26, 2010 11:54 AM | | Comments (0)

Last summer the FDA issued a warning on the drugs Chantix and Zyban, used by people trying to quit smoking, for their link to suicides. Zyban is also sold as Wellbutrin and is also used to treat depression. A July 2009 New York Times article states that Chantix has been linked to 98 suicides and 188 attempted suicides; Zyban is linked to 14 suicides and 17 attempted suicides.

According to FDA reports as well as information gathered from clinical trials, many people started experiencing mental health side effects a short time after taking the drugs, which ended after they stopped taking the medication. In addition to suicidal thoughts, some people also reported depression and behavioral changes such as irritability. Although some of these changes may be linked to patients experiencing withdrawal symptoms, some patients experienced side effects while they continued to smoke.

The FDA has made it mandatory for the manufacturers of Chantix and Zyban to alert the public about their risks. Pfizer, the maker of Chantix, will add a black box warning to the drug. GlaxoSmithKline already has a black box warning on Wellbutrin, which includes suicidal thoughts as a danger of taking the drug, and plans to add a warning to Zyban. The FDA is also requiring Pfizer and Glaxo to do clinical trials to determine the psychiatric effects on patients taking these drugs.

Dan Irving Cytryn is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer handling injury and accident cases for more than 29 years. He has received a 10.0 rating on AVVO, a lawyer rating service, which is the highest rating given for a lawyer. He is also rated the highest ability and ethics rating, "AV", by Martindale Hubbell, a company rating lawyers for more than 100 years.

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