Chantix Side Effects

Chantix is a smoking cessation drug used to help addicted smokers quit smoking. The active ingredient in Chantix is varenicline, and the drug functions by stimulating nicotine receptors more weakly than nicotine does. By doing so, Chantix can reduce nicotine cravings and decrease the pleasurable effects of cigarettes, thereby helping smokers quit. Chantix is currently manufactured by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, Inc. The smoking cessation drug Chantix has been on the U.S. market since 2006, when it was approved by the FDA via a "priority review," which consists of a six-month review period, rather than the typical ten months. This FDA action was taken in response to the drug's demonstrated effectiveness in clinical trials and its perceived lack of safety issues. Unfortunately, recent studies have indicated that Chantix use may be associated with an increased risk of major side effects, including heart attack and stroke. If you took Chantix to quit smoking and have since suffered from a severe side effect, contact a Chantix attorney to discuss your legal options.

Possible Chantix Side Effects

According to a July 2011 study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the smoking cessation drug Chantix may increase the risk of severe cardiovascular side effects, including heart attack and stroke, by 72%, even in patients without heart disease. Previous Chantix side effect studies addressed these side effects, but connected the increased risk only to patients with heart disease. This new study, conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, has spurred a heated debate about the safety of Chantix, leading experts to request a Chantix recall in the U.S.

Heart Attack Side Effects

A heart attack occurs when there is a blockage in the blood vessels that deliver blood to the heart, preventing an adequate amount of oxygen from reaching the heart. This blockage is often caused by the presence of a blood clot in the coronary arteries, causing symptoms like chest pain and pain in the arms, neck, shoulder, jaw, teeth, or back. Without a sufficient supply of oxygen, the heart muscle becomes damaged and begins to die. A heart attack can lead to life-threatening complications like congestive heart failure, irregular heartbeats and stroke.

Stroke Side Effects

A stroke is caused by an interruption in the supply of blood to any part of the brain. If blood flow is stopped for longer than a few seconds, the brain cannot get enough blood and oxygen, and brain cells can die, causing permanent brain damage. Symptoms of stroke include changes in alertness, loss of balance and coordination, confusion or loss of memory, numbness or tingling on one side of the body, and muscle weakness in the arm, face or leg.

Chantix FDA Warnings

In June 2011, the FDA issued an official safety announcement warning patients and healthcare professionals that the smoking cessation drug Chantix may be associated with an increased risk of certain cardiovascular side effects in patients with heart disease. This warning was based on the results of a clinical trial in which severe cardiovascular side effects like heart attack were more common in patients treated with Chantix compared to patients treated with a placebo. With the release of this new CMAJ study, however, the FDA has been prompted to take further action against the potentially dangerous Chantix.

In 2007, only a year after the drug was approved, the FDA's adverse event report system indicated that Chantix was responsible for more occurrences of serious injury than any other drug. Among these Chantix side effects were seizures, irregular heartbeat, and blackouts, as well as abnormal aggression and suicidal tendencies. In 2008, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) published a compilation of its Chantix side effect findings, which prompted the FDA to order pilots with the Federal Aviation Administration to stop taking Chantix. Soon afterward, the Federal Motor Carrier Administration, which oversees the bus and trucking industry, issued a similar Chantix ban for its commercial drivers. The Department of Defense has also taken Chantix side effect information seriously, prohibiting certain aircraft and weapons personnel from taking the smoking cessation drug.

Chantix Attorneys for Side Effects

The side effects potentially associated with Chantix are extremely serious and may even be life-threatening. If you or a loved one has suffered from a potential Chantix side effect, contact a Chantix attorney to discuss the benefits of filing a Chantix lawsuit aganist Pfizer. The main goal of Chantix lawsuits is to seek financial compensation for your injuries, the medical expenses resulting from injury treatment, and the pain and suffering endured by you and your family. Pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer are responsible for the safety and effectiveness of their medications, and should be held accountable for any adverse side effects sustained by consumers of their products. Unfortunately, some drug companies actually go to great lengths to avoid drug injury liability and to conceal the serious side effects of their medications. You are not at fault for any injuries caused by a pharmaceutical drug. Only by hiring a qualified Chantix lawyer can you protect your rights and collect the compensation you deserve.

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