Champix (Chantix) - more serious psychiatric reactions and death..

March 14, 2010 - Three British Columbia (BC) residents are suing Pfizer, alleging the drug company's quit-smoking product Champix (Chantix in the U.S) can cause serious psychiatric reactions and death.

Plaintiff Alicia Pickering, 34, said she was a normal, healthy woman until she started taking Champix to kick her smoking habit. Within days of starting the drug, the married mother of two experienced a dramatic change in personality and was consumed with thoughts of dying, she said. "It literally felt like something had broken in my head," Pickering, of Sechelt, B.C., northwest of Vancouver, told CBC News. "Intense, severe depression overtook me. I would sit on the couch sobbing, not knowing why."

In a writ filed in B.C. Supreme Court, Pickering and two other B.C. residents claim Pfizer "negligently designed, tested, labelled, manufactured and marketed the drug to Canadians." According to the document, Pickering developed bipolar disorder after taking Champix. The writ (a legal document issued by a court or judicial officer) also claims the U.S. drug maker failed to warn customers of the adverse side-effects of the medication. The allegations have not been tested in court.

Health Canada says that as of Dec. 31, 2009, it was aware of 1,193 cases of suspected adverse reactions involving Champix. The majority of these were psychiatric reactions.

Elsewhere in Canada, the death of Thom Jancewicz, a 48-year-old engineer and father, also raised questions about Champix. The Ottawa man killed himself after taking Champix to quit smoking before he started a new job.

Chantix Side Effects: Suicide, Suicidal Thoughts, and Death Lawyer B.C. residents sue maker of quit-smoking drug, Enis & Enis Blog,

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