A report, “Thoughts and Acts of Aggression/Violence Toward Others Reported in Association with Varenicline” in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy, by Thomas J Moore, Joseph Glenmullen, MD, and Curt D Furberg MD, documents startling evidence showing that Chantix (Varenicline) triggers sudden, unprovoked homicidal behavior in people who were not previously violent.
“We believe this may be the first scientific report to examine the characteristics of aggression/violence as a psychiatric side effect for any prescription drug. What do these cases look like? A question answered for possibly the first time. We found the details striking and chilling. This is the first time we know of that aggression/violence has been clearly documented as a side effect in a peer reviewed scientific journal. This raises the question of whether (Chantix) is suitable for use in the military, by police and others who are already in stress situations. One key characteristic of these events is uncontrollable rage. Not a good side effect for people paid to carry guns.”
The evidence, culled from 78 adverse psychiatric events reported to the FDA MedWatch database; 4 reported in clinical trials, and 3 were reported in the published literature, is compelling. Using psychiatric diagnostic criteria and an adverse event causality assessment tool the authors identified 26 case reports for study.
The selected cases described 10 events with assault, 9 cases of homicidal ideation, and 7 cases of other thoughts or acts of aggression/violence. The most frequent common characteristics were :
- Inexplicable and unprovoked event,
- The victim was anyone nearby,
- No indication of a prior history of similar behavior in the patient, and
- Early onset of psychiatric adverse effects, often before stopping smoking.
Where dechallenge/rechallenge information was available, psychiatric adverse effects resolved in 13/14 (93%) cases after discontinuation.
Needless to say, this is an eye-opening study about a potentially dangerous drug, and the risks associated with homicidal behavior as a potential side effect of Chantix outweigh the benefits of smoking cessation. However, there is a safer approach to getting rid of those cigarettes and to stop smoking for good.
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.