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Over the last few months the troubles for Pfizer’s smoking cessation drug, Chantix, have been growing by leaps and bounds. The shooting death of Dallas musician Carter Albrecht sparked public interest here in the U.S. and in the UK and Europe their version of the same drug, marketed as Champix, was thrown into the public eye after the highly publicized suicide of well known television editor Omer Jama shortly after starting the drug. This week a new report shows that claims of suicidal thoughts associated with Champix doubled in just a 60 days period in Europe.

According to that same report, in a clinical trial with Champix, the drug had six times the number of serious adverse reactions as a similar drug, Zyban. Pfizer used Zyban as a comparison in clinical trials to show the success rate of its drug.

The FDA is currently in the process of investigating adverse events reported in the U.S. and just last week the Australian equivalent to the FDA announced that when the drug hits the Australian market in January of 2008 it will contain a warning that some patients have experienced depression, agitation, and suicidal thoughts.

Pfizer continues to deny any causal relationship between suicidal ideation and the popular stop-smoking aid and claims that in clinical trials no suicides were attributed to Chantix or Champix.

For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Drugs, Medical Devices and Implants.

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