Chantix Lawsuit Consolidation Hearing Scheduled for September

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has scheduled a hearing later next month to determine whether all federal Chantix lawsuits should be consolidated and centralized in one district for coordinated handling as part of an MDL, or Multidistrict Litigation.

The hearing is scheduled for September 24 and will give plaintiffs and defendants in the claims a chance to submit oral arguments for or against the consolidation. A growing number of lawsuits have been filed against Pfizer, maker of the smoking cessation drug, containing similar allegations that side effects of Chantix resulted in suicides or another severe injury.

Chantix (varenicline) was approved by the FDA in 2006 as a prescription medication to help people quit smoking. The drug works by reducing the positive feelings that come from cigarettes, blocking the receptors in the brain commonly stimulated by nicotine. However, the drug has been linked to increased risks of suicide and suicide attempts, aggressive behavioral changes and other psychiatric side effects.

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The FDA has received hundreds of reports involving severe and fatal injuries linked to Chantix psychiatric side effects. In June, the FDA required a “black box” warning be placed on the drug alerting consumers and the medical community to the potential problems. Pfizer has also been required to conduct clinical trials providing more data on how often the neuropsychiatric symptoms occur and what conditions cause them.

Individuals who have filed a Chantix lawsuit against Pfizer allege that the drug maker failed to adequately test the drug and failed to adequately warn consumers of the potential side effects.

A group of 20 different plaintiffs filed a motion in early July asking for all federal cases to be consolidated into an MDL to avoid inconsistent pretrial rulings, repeat discovery on issues common to all cases and to serve the convenience of the parties, the witnesses and the court. The plaintiffs have requested that the cases be assigned to the Northern District of Alabama or the Northern District of Georgia, but the MDL Panel will determine where the cases are sent if they determine consolidation is appropriate.

While the first lawsuit over Chantix suicide side effects was filed against Pfizer last year, the number of new cases is expected to increase dramatically after the addition of the black box warning.

Chantix lawyers are currently investigating potential claims for individuals throughout the country who have suffered an injury. If the Chantix litigation is consolidated, as new cases are filed in various federal courts, they will be transferred into the MDL for coordinated handling during pretrial proceedings.

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9 Comments

  • MindeOctober 22, 2010 at 11:50 am

    I also had a TIA/CVA after taking Chantix for about 6 weeks. All of my labs were normal and my carotids were clear. Echo was clear. Doc found no reason for the TIA/CVA. I was 46 years old, and the attack ruined me.

  • GaryMay 17, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    My wife suffered two mini-strokes (TIA's) a month apart after starting on Chantix. She quit Chantix after the first TIA. All the test done could not find any reason for the TIA's. It has been 4 months now without Chantix and she has not had any more problems. The mini-strokes has to be the result of taking Chantix because there are too many others experiencing the same side affects.

  • CeceSeptember 10, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    My husband has been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and was taking Lamactal to treat that. His Psychiatrist prescribed Chantix to help with him quitting smoking. After a week taking this, he started having these out of control anger outbursts and suicidal thoughts. He had never had these problems before. So he reported this to his Psychiatrist and he took him off of it. But these behaviors haven'[Show More]My husband has been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and was taking Lamactal to treat that. His Psychiatrist prescribed Chantix to help with him quitting smoking. After a week taking this, he started having these out of control anger outbursts and suicidal thoughts. He had never had these problems before. So he reported this to his Psychiatrist and he took him off of it. But these behaviors haven't stopped, especially the suicidal thoughts. We are scared. The other cases seem to convey that the symptoms ceased after stopping the Chantix. I'm caling a lawyer.

  • jimSeptember 4, 2009 at 11:37 am

    colon paralysis from dostinex? my daughter is living it

  • JIMAugust 26, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    PFIZERS' DOSTINEX SHRUNK MY DAUGHTERS PITUITARY TUMOR AND THE SIDE EFFECT WAS THAT IT PARALYZED MY DAUGHTERS' COLON AT CHILDRENS HOSPITAL IN BOSTON

  • GlennAugust 25, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    I was on Chantix for 6 - 8 weeks and had 4 TIA's. These mini-strokes stopped after 3 weeks after being off Chantix. However the Doctor put me on an aspirn a-day.

  • BenAugust 24, 2009 at 1:28 am

    I have been quit for 4 months now using Chantix. I have never had a history of depression. So far no mental problems. My doc warned me when he prescribed Chantix that if I had a history of depression I should think twice due to the side effects. In my opinion this is a frivolous law suit. Some people who had mental problems to begin with just want someone to blame for their illness. Don't ta[Show More]I have been quit for 4 months now using Chantix. I have never had a history of depression. So far no mental problems. My doc warned me when he prescribed Chantix that if I had a history of depression I should think twice due to the side effects. In my opinion this is a frivolous law suit. Some people who had mental problems to begin with just want someone to blame for their illness. Don't take this drug away from people who want to quit smoking. It works!

  • MaryAugust 23, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    I admit that I am glad my daughter stopped taking the Chantix. HOWEVER, having said that, I was on it for several months and after years of trying EVERYTHING else - I DID finally quit smoking for good (2 years ago) ... I really believe that it is a "combination" of the Chantix drug and OTHER medications that is dangerous (either that or I was just very luck, as I was on a lot of prescriptions). [Show More]I admit that I am glad my daughter stopped taking the Chantix. HOWEVER, having said that, I was on it for several months and after years of trying EVERYTHING else - I DID finally quit smoking for good (2 years ago) ... I really believe that it is a "combination" of the Chantix drug and OTHER medications that is dangerous (either that or I was just very luck, as I was on a lot of prescriptions). Having a long-time caring physician (friend) helps too.

  • teresaAugust 21, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    I have filed a suit. I filled the prescription twice. It works, no doubt, I had quit smoking, but suffered two hospital stays. One, I was taken by amublance in January '08 with severe chest pains, agonzing headache, lower stomach pain and literally couldn't breathe....stayed a week...underwent every test possible, even morphine didn't take the headaches away....was put on oxygen during stay, he[Show More]I have filed a suit. I filled the prescription twice. It works, no doubt, I had quit smoking, but suffered two hospital stays. One, I was taken by amublance in January '08 with severe chest pains, agonzing headache, lower stomach pain and literally couldn't breathe....stayed a week...underwent every test possible, even morphine didn't take the headaches away....was put on oxygen during stay, healthy gall bladder was almost removed, diagnosis was incliclusive. In May '08, took a drive...purchased three bottles of sleeping pills and little diabetic razorblades...have NO IDEA WHY...wasn't mad, sad, nothing...wrote a note to my daughters and six grandchildren...non-chalantly downed over 200 pills washed down w/mountain dew...woke up six days later in ICU...family, friends, co-workers, surrounding my bed...learned I was put on life support and put on a list for possible liver transplant. Spent time in a psyche unit...lost all credibility w/employer and family. Babysitting privileges were taken away. Husband hated me. I hated me. No one knew I was on Chantix except my mother. She kept giving me articles regarding the side effects and I finally listened and continued to research. Maybe I'm NOT crazy! It's been 1 1/2 years and 'm just NOW starting to feel grounded. All rights have been restored and maybe...just MAYbe...it wasn't my fault. I am praying a positive outcome from my lawsuit, could give me back my dignity. For the record, I smoked under 7 cigs. a day and had been on anti-depressants prior for 10 years.

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