Just over a year ago pharmaceutical giant Pfizer introduced a revolutionary smoking cessasation drug to the market. This drug, called Chantix, work differently than stop smoking aids in the past. Chantix actually blocks nicotine receptors in the brain, eliminating the satisfaction induced by nicotine consumption therefore eliminating the urge to smoke. Over 4 million people have tried Chantix and for the most part there have been outstanding results, however; the FDA has received almost 2000 reports of serious adverse reactions associated with the drug.
Complaints about Chantix to the Food and Drug Administration have been increasing steadily since it went on the market in August 2006. There were 48 by September, and 246 more by December. The number jumped another 602 by March 2007, and 948 more by the end of June. In all, there were 1,844 reports in 11 months.
The reports range from joint pain, vision and balance problems, and memory loss to hallucinations, aggression, and even suicidal ideation. Many people have complained of very bizarre side effects from Chantix when taken in conjunction with alcohol consumption. Pfizer claims the most common side effects are changes in dreaming, constipation, gas, and vomiting, but does list psychotic disorder and suicidal ideation as possible rare side effects.
Most people do seem to benefit from the use of this drug, but it could pose very serious risks some users. It may not be time to call for Chantix to be pulled from the market however it should be remembered that over half of the serious problems with new drugs do not surface in the first seven years.
For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Drugs, Medical Devices, and Implants.