Government Officials Take Action on Chantix Use by Pilots, Truckers and Bus Drivers

Following a report released last week by a non-profit group, federal regulators have indicated that Chantix should not be used by pilots, air traffic controllers or operators of commercial motor vehicles like trucks and buses. The anti-smoking drug has been linked to suicides, suicide attempts, psychosis, hostility, aggression, accidents, falls, heart rhythm problems, heart attacks, seizures, diabetes and various other psychiatric problems.

An analysis by the Institute for Safe Medicine Practices outlined hundreds of health and safety problems reported to the FDA between May 2006 and December 2007. As a result, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a Chantix ban for all pilots and air traffic controllers and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) indicates that those taking the drug should not qualify for a commercial motor vehicle license.

Chantix (varenicline) is a medication prescribed to help people quit smoking. It was approved in 2006 and is an important drug for Pfizer, who has a weak pipeline of new medications to replace older drugs which will soon be available as generics. During the first full year on the market, Chantix generated $883 million in sales. For the first three months of 2008, sales totalled $227 million, which was an increase of more than 70% over the same period in 2007.

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Concerns surrounding problems with Chantix began to surface toward the end of last year, prompting the FDA to initiate a safety revieww of post-market reports involving suicides, aggressive and erratic behavior among users of the drug. Since that time, Pfizer has updated the warning label at least two different times and created an information guide which is provided when the prescription is filled to warn about the potential psychiatric side effects.



  • TomAugust 24, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    I was on "Chantix" for several week's when I stood up from the kitchen table to go to the Fridge. My wife said I looked at her & my eyes rolled back in my head & I passed out for a few minutes. Three days in hospital & a series of tests proved nothing? I quit using it

  • Chantix Litigation Heats Up as Lawsuits are Filed — AboutLawsuits.comJuly 16, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    [...] alternatives to help them quit smoking. In addition, last month federal regulators indicated that Chantix should not be used by pilots, air traffic controllers or operators of commercial motor vehicles like trucks and [...]

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