Doctor on Chantix: "It can be a very dangerous drug"

By Jena Johnson - bio | email
Posted by Elizabeth Thomas – email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) – Thousands of people have used Chantix to help quit smoking, but the drug has not been without controversy.

In fact, there are hundreds of thousands of articles and blogs online about Chantix, discussing everything from the drug's side effects to lawsuits.

You may have seen the commercials for Chantix. Attached to the idea of ditching cigarettes through a pill are serious warnings.

One commercial says "Some people have had changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal thoughts or actions while using Chantix to help them quit smoking."

Dr. Greg Johnson says he's never prescribed Chantix.

"I would [prescribe Chantix] under the circumstance that I did a psychological background and that there was not history of previous suicidal ideations," says Dr. Johnson.

Several people who have tried Chantix documented their experience on YouTube. What some had to say is disturbing.

"I'll be irritable and depressed. Oh, and it makes you violent too. Apparently it makes you very, very violent, and I'm not a violent person usually."

"I started to get homicidal and suicidal tendencies."

"I got very agitated to the point to where I really thought I could have killed somebody."

But attorney James Volberding says prescription medication like Chantix canny be used as a criminal defense.

"However it can be relevant to the level of knowledge and intent the defendant showed committing the crime, and of course as I mentioned in the sentencing phase that would certainly be relevant," said Volberding.

Thousands of people are looking into taking legal action against Chantix after reporting serious side effects.

Dr. Johnson says, "There are black box warnings by Pfizer and I do think that it can be a dangerous drug."

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