In British Columbia, Canada there is a class action suit against Pfizer. You can read the article in the Nation Post here: http://www.nationalpost.com/most-popular/story.html?id=2760945
The plaintiiffs contend that Pfizer’s drug Champix is dangerous, causing depression and possibly suicide – Patricia Clow of Colwood, B.C., says that it caused her daughter to commit suicide. Champix is on the market in US and Canada as a product to help quit smoking.
There are a couple of remarks that stand out to me. The first is:
“In July 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration required Pfizer to insert a ‘black box’ warning into its labelling about the risk of suicide or psychiatric harm.”
“The agency [Health Canada] also noted, however, that symptoms like depressed mood, insomnia, irritability, frustration, anger and anxiety are often reported while quitting smoking, with or without drug treatment.”
Now I contend that this second statement by Health Canada was more than a little stupid if directed at anyone who retains any ability at all to think: Millions of people quit smoking every year. I have never heard of anyone getting so depressed or irritated or frustrated or angry or anxious that they actually committed suicide – without the help of drugs of course.
As for the first statement, why would you put a drug out on the market where the side effects are more dangerous than what they are used to cure? Here is a bit more information on the side effects of Champix take from the Wikipedia dictionary:
“In November 2007, the FDA announced it had received post-marketing reports that patients using Chantix for smoking cessation had experienced several serious symptoms, including suicidal ideation and occasional suicidal behavior, erratic behavior, and drowsiness. On February 1, 2008 the FDA issued an Alert to further clarify its findings, noting that ‘it appears increasingly likely that there is an association between Chantix and serious neuropsychiatric symptoms.’ It is unknown whether the psychiatric symptoms are related to the drug or to nicotine withdrawal symptoms, although not all patients had stopped smoking. The FDA also recommended that health care professionals and patients watch for behavioral and mood changes. In May 2008, Pfizer updated the safety information associated with Chantix, noting that ‘some patients have reported changes in behavior, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal thoughts or actions.'”
Another point that irritates and depresses me to no end (don’t worry, I won’t commit suicide) is that Pfizer put this drug out and over the next several months numerous ‘results’ came in causing them to put additional warnings on their labels. Are they releasing these drugs and unbeknownst to the public at large using them as guinea pigs?
Please, please don’t take your doctor’s word on a drug – he gets money to push them – do your own research! I’d rather see you alive and smoking – enjoying life – than depressed and dead from suicide.