Chantix and Side Effects Lawsuit

Chantix is a drug used to help people kick their smoking addiction. It differs from other cessation drugs such as zyban or the nicotine patches and gum in that it is a nicotine receptor partial agonist, the first approved by the FDA. It’s purpose is two-fold: it not only reduces the craving for nicotine, but it also decreases the pleasurable effects derived from cigarettes and other tobacco products. It was approved for sale in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2006. However, there have recently been lawsuits filed by those that used Chantix and suffered severe side effects.

The most common side effects of Chantix are nausea, vomiting, headache, insomnia, abnormal dreams, flatulence, and dysgeusia (an altercation in taste). However, some patients who used Chantix had more severe side effects such as thoughts of suicide and suicidal or otherwise erratic behavior. Because the drug is so new, it is unknown whether these side effects are the result of withdrawal from nicotine or due to the drug itself. The FDA has since released a notice advising health care professionals to observe patients for change in behavior when taking Chantrix.

One of the most high profile cases of the severe effects that may be caused by Chantix is that of Carter Albrecht. Albrecht was a guitarist and keyboardist with the band Edie Brickell & the New Bohemians. He died September 3, 2007 after being shot in the head by a neighbor as he tried to kick in his door.

Earlier that day, Albrecht had been having drinks with his girlfriend Ryann Rathbone at a local Dallas bar. After he become intoxicated, Rathbone drove Albrecht to their home where they both took their dose of Chantix. After that, Albrecht became incoherent and violent, breaking a glass and hitting Rathbone. When Rathbone left the house, Albrecht followed and she locked him out. He pounded on the door then went next door and began pounding on the neighbor’s door. The neighbor warned Albrecht to stop and fired a warning shot through the door, which hit Albrecht. Family and friends say that this type of violent behavior was atypical of Albrecht and believe that the use of Chantix caused the events.

Albrecht’s case is not the only one of normally calm people reacting violently and erratically after taking Chantix. If you or someone you know has had behavioral changes since taking Chantix, you may want to contact a lawyer about a lawsuit against Pfizer.

473 Responses to “Chantix and Side Effects Lawsuit”

  1. Jodi Says:

    Another WOW here. I also took Chantix to quit smking with success two years ago. I have been getting heart palpatations for about 1.5 years and light headed also. I do not have any other health problems. I use to run a couple of miles everyother day and now it is difficult because of the papaltations. I am seeing a doctor and will be requesting a stress test as I am afraid the Chantix damaged my heart. thank you.

  2. don Says:

    I”m a 38 year old healty Iron worker,I had been taking champix my heart stopped! My friends tried to revive me but the couldn’t the paramedics showed up I was dead!they revived me brought to the hospital where my heart was in an eradic pace.They put me in to an indused coma for three days.They put a pace maker in my heart after all the tests they have determined my heart and brain are fine im healthy but im stuck with this implant!I guess im just lucky to be alive for my wife an two lovely daughters!

  3. Scott Says:

    I’m on day-25 of Chantix and day-10 without a cigarette. Chantix has been magic thus far, and although I get an “off” feeling at times – I know it will pass, and the most important thing is that I quit! I went from years of smoking about a pack a day to nothing. It’s amazing.

    I’d like to make a comment about the Albrecht lawsuit case and how unbelievable I find it that there was no mention of his alcohol intake. So the guy goes out boozin’ it . . . comes home, takes his medication, gets killed, and all I hear is it was Chantix’s fault. I’m not sorry to say but alcohol is a drug and can cause quite the reckage.

  4. Donna Burton Says:

    I started Chantix in November 08, on the 7th day I started having seizures. I have never had a seizure in my life until I took Chantix. Please email me at My seizures have progressed from 1-2 a day to up to 10 times in a day and I was recently hospitalized in ICU. The doctors’ state that I will more than likely have them for the rest of my life. I have lost my job because of seizures at work, I have been ordered by physicians not to drive and my husband can’t leave my by myself. The seizures have seriously affected my life to where I can’t function normally. I am also trying to find anyone else that has experienced seizures after taking Chantix.

  5. terri Says:

    Long story, short – – took two scrips of Chantix back/back in ’07. Endured two, long, painful hospital stays in ’08. I trusted everyone involved. Never again.

    People do NOT go to the trouble and expense of getting prescription…w/hopes of having horrendous side-effects. Someone screwed up. YES, it makes smoking a chore…and YES, it would’ve been PERFECT had it STOPPED there.

    But, it doesn’t.

    Once the smoking receptors are hit…this venom sneaks on thru to OTHER brain receptors/matter…plants itself whereEVER it sees fit…and believe me when I say this…IT CAN/DOES DISTORT your mind…dreams…reflexes…judgment…etc.

    This is ONE, SLOW, EXTREMELY POWERFUL pill. Once in your system, only God knows how/where you’ll land. And, as far as OTHERS keeping an eye on you…that’s a joke…you could share a bunkbed w/doctor…and he/she STILL couldn’t get to you in time. When that rug is YANKED…the spiral is so swift…no one can save you. BE VERY, VERY SCARED OF THIS LITTLE BLUE PILL. IT’S UNPREDICTABLE…ALL CONSUMING…THOROUGH…SNEAKY…AND SLOW. Just when you think, “wow, THIS was easy…” the spiral begins.

  6. Bob O Says:

    I just wanted to say that my doctor was SOLD on this medication to quit smoking. He first prescribed it, wanting me to quit smoking in 2007. I wasn’t wanting to quit, but everyone else wanted me to. I took the drug for about 2-3 months, and then quit taking it. I hadn’t quit smoking, but it greatly reduced the amount I smoked to about 3-7 cigarettes a day. In 2008, I tried the drug again. I had heart problems and ended up getting a pacemaker installed in 2008. As a 38 year old, I hadn’t ever had heart problems, or any major medical problems. I restarted the medication again in 2009 again reducing the amount I smoked. In August of 2010, I was admitted to the hospital and recieved 2 stents. Still on Chantix for most of the year, and it being a FREE medication provided by my insurance company because of it’s GREATNESS, I never associated it until July 2011 with the TEN (10) heart surgeries that I’ve had in the last 12 months, having ballooning and a total of SEVEN (7) stents put into my arteries for what they call Coronary Artery Disease. My doctor recommends I not take the medication any longer. I’m shocked. I recommend people NOT use the medication either. Your life depends on you, saying NO to this medication.

  7. Stacey Says:

    In march of 2011 my husband went to his doct. for a physical. He is 38 and fit and healthy (besides the smoking). He asked his doct for chantex and started taking immediatly.
    By early May, his moods were so bad, we agreed he needed to get off chantex. We were aware of these side affects prior and made an agreement if his behavior changed, he’d stop the meds. He was turning into a monster.
    3 days after taking his last chantex pill (may 17th) he went to the hospital with chest and arm pain.
    After a very stressful night, we were told his main right artery was 100% blocked and he indeed had a heart attack. He needed 2 stents placed in that 1 artery. Thankfully he has no heart damage and has recovered. However, he no longer qualifys for life insurance and is forevery labeled with heart disease.
    With everything in my, I believe it was the chantex. I suggest NO ONE take this medicine.

  8. Janie Says:

    I took chantix for approx 6 weeks. I quit smoking on day 10. I am still smoke free, but…… I had and still have symptoms from this drug. I stopped the drug feb 2011. I have aggressive behavior, loose my temper at the drop of a hat, and I am severly depressed. Can any one comment on this 1 symtom that is just driving me nuts. from the 1 st pill I had a strange feeling on the top of my head it feels like pressure,sometime I refer to it as a headache but it’s more of a pressure. some days I also have dizzness abd nausea, but that is fairly rare. If you would place the heal of your hand at the top of your forehead and lay your fingers on the top of ur head that is the area where the strange feeling and pressure is. My husband took this drug also and he has this too, we call it the chantix effect. Has anyone else experience this.
    I feel aggaited most of the time, I no longer like my friends, I have just gotten mean ! I have been a r.n. many years and this has got to be the worse drug I have ever seen.

  9. Lowell Norby Says:

    I too have been suffering frome self hatred to all around hatred ..I use to love life and life loved me pROBABLY WILL END iN SUICED

  10. john Says:

    Try to make this short but I could go on and on about chantix, Alittle about me 48 married in great shape and work out 5 times a week, Was a foreman for a large union construction company so again stayed very fit and active with my job, always have had a complete physical every year, Always everything fine, only bad thing I smoked so In Jan 2010 started taking chantix, Took it for 2 to 3 months I guess, other than a few vivid dreams it was great quit smoking and still don’t, Everything seemed okay until june 2010, First problem I had was severe anxiety at work just felt I could not do my job, So in Nov 2010 I gave up the foreman position thinking less stress would be better, Although I never ever experienced anxiety before, Also in Dec for my anual check up they discovered irregular heart rythum, Well many tests later and even a trip to mayo, I struggle daily with aniexty, aches and pains and living for now with heart issues, I know it was caused by chantix, Although you ask doctors and they don’t want to talk about it, I do not recomend this drug, And just can not believe its still being sold I would think there would be a law suit by now, If any one hears of one please let me know,

  11. Tom Says:

    I started last week on chantix and I had anxiety attacks some last over 5 hours. Very bad thoughts also. Sores in my mouth. I stopped taking this drug and I still can’t sleep at night. I get about 2 or 3 hours of sleep and that’s it.

  12. Todd Says:

    took chantix twice to quit smoking, no problems on med wasnt until off med that body aches started , first in toes and feet,ankle, and sometimes elbows , hips, feel like my joints aged 50 yrs ( just turned 46 ) good thing dont smoke, bad thing body hurts all the time… hard to walk after sitting for a period of time. all do from chantix

  13. Diane Says:

    Took Chantix in 2008, quit smoking for 4 months and then had a very stressful emergency in the family and I started again. Began Chantix on Jan. 11 and by Feb. 19th, my throat was ON FIRE, my stomach was ON FIRE and I was in for an endoscopy on march 11. Bleeding ulcers. Took NINE months to heal and a very strict diet.

    Started Chantix again 5 weeks ago (feb 27 2012)…and now have an appt. with my doctor this monday (Apr 2 2012) for ulcers AGAIN! Hmmmm….yup, can pretty much say now after dealing with it in 2008, that THIS DRUGS PRODUCES ULCERS! I have been VERY careful in making sure to eat when taking, etc., and it doesn’t seemed to have helped at all. Now, I’m looking at some serious friggin time again to heal these things….I’m done!

  14. Scot Says:

    It all started the end of March 2011. I went to my dr. and told him I wanted to stop smoking . It was unhealthy , it was expensive , and I was just tired of the My dr. gladly gave me a prescription of Chantix. I put off getting the prescription filled. I am a chronic procrastinator , and honestly very unmotivated about the fact that I hopefully would not be smoking any more. Finally in may 2011 I said to myself …”ok its time”. I went and got the Chantix prescription filled. I started taking the Chantix a day later. I thought hmmm I dont know all the hype about this medication is, I feel fine. I did get a bit of nausea right after I took it , but honestly . I did not feel angry or suicidal or anything. I felt normal. Within 10 days ,bam… I put the cigs down and could have cared less if I ever picked them up again.

    Early June 2011 still not smoking. I was however out of breath a whole lot of the time. I thought to myself ,for goodness sake I could feel better if I smoked . I was still determined by then to stay and ex smoker. Mind you I was still popping the Chantix 2 times a day as required. I went to the dr. about my breathing . The dr. scheduled me for a stress echo cardiogram. I took the test and my heart seemed to be ok. The people giving me the echo said you get out of breath WAY too fast , but still nothing wrong with my heart. The dr. then scheduled me for a pulmonary test . You know the one you blow in the tube until your lungs are gonna explode. No sign of any lung problems, like COPD , or Chronic bronchitis. All those tests came back normal. I did blood work.40 years old , Great cholesterol levels, every thing came back great. I was healthy as a horse ( my dr’s exact words). I finally just gave up, and contributed my shortness of breath to being an ex smoker , and not the most athletic person in the world. I stopped the Chantix at the beginning of July, when the prescription ran out.

    November 2011 . My partner and I had road out to get something to eat. I told him wow dinner really gave me heartburn. I got back home. I took some antacids. By this time my shirt , and pants were soaking wet and I was very light headed. I felt like I was up side down. I told my partner ” I think we need to go to the hospital”. At that moment the burning in my chest was unbearable. I get to the ER asap. I walk in and the dr’s do an EKG and see I AM HAVING A HEART ATTACK.. I was rushed up stairs and put into surgery and a stent was placed in my back heart artery. A clot had formed. A few days went by and I got out of the hospital. My cardiologist specifically told me . He was baffled by the fact I had an unexplained heart attack. He said it happens but not often. HE then asked me if I had taken any drugs. I laughed at him and said” no I never have done illegal drugs”. He said no” I mean prescription drugs.” I said “yes Chantix to quit smoking , but that was months ago.” My cardiologist’s said” Im not saying that Chantix caused this for sure , but that’s a dangerous drug and I would not recommend ANYONE taking it”.

    January of 2012 I started researching Chantix heart attacks. I got a lawyer and still waiting to see what happens. Im not out to get rich , but I will never be the same. I will be on pills for the rest of my life, my heart will be damaged some what forever , and I will question the confidence I had in my body pre- heart attack. I have no scientific proof this drug did this to me , but I feel it in my gut. I am still not smoking , but was it worth it. Id like to hear any and everyone’s experience.

  15. Scot Says:

    If any of you need to vent or just need to talk please comment on my blog.

  16. Fox Says:

    Female 41, two previous Stress related heart attacks (ages 34 & 37) Only one did perm damage. A history of depression and anxiety after heart problems occurred. I asked my Dr for this new drug, he said “no problem” then got chantix script filled, and read the pamphlet: I saw the warning in regards to heart disease, but I didn’t have that, Dr said there was NO reason to have had a HA. And my depression was situational so I just didn’t think…..and I thought my Dr knows what he is doing. And also figured the benefits of quitting outweighed the rest. (next time I am presc something I am doing my homework)

    I am very sensitive to meds, and found that i did not like the way it made me feel (stomach upset), but b/c i was desprite to quit, continued with only a half of pill. Now been on chantix for about six weeks. Had some mild sleep/dream side affects, not a huge problem. About 2 weeks ago I started having major heart fluttering and thumps, I compare it to a tickle belly, but in my chest, almost feeling as if my blood pressure is dropping or raising with it. But have been thru two actual HA’s I know it comes with drenching sweat, so wasn’t too concerned yet. Plus I didn’t even remember the heart disease warning.

    I had recently moved and needed a new PCP anyway so made an appt last week, not even thinking about these symptoms, chocking it up to stress of the move or anxiety from not smoking, LOL.
    When filling out the paperwork, and was asked reason for visit, i said needed new PCP, with a side note “having some weird fluttering, 10-15 times a day (I thought I was exaggerating) and then I asked if it could be related to chantix, he said very unlikely and most side affects related to emotional issues.

    But prob b/c of my history he did put me on a heart monitor for 24hrs, and after having to record these episodes, OVER TWO AND A HALF PAGES worth, I quit taking the chantix altogether (about 48 hours ago, and only today have started to do some research after a friend said they heard something about heart issues with it)

    So not only did I have a Dr prescribe me this drug, but another who didn’t seem to be too concerned. Yesterday the flutter has decreased, but it is still happening, I have an Echo next week, my EKG looked good, but they said that my first HA, actually got into it with the Dr who said I was fine (too only have the blood tests come back positive, and then confirmed with a heart cath)

    Now I am anxious to see results of the HM (next week) after reading these stories. And am increasingly getting more upset as I read these stories about the complicity of these doctors.

    It is unspeakable that two Dr’s that knows my history would see no problem in me taking Chantix, after what I have now read i am seriously freaking out.

    Thankfully I have quit the smokes, not so much the chantix (even tho it did help, it was the emotional addiction I was still having a problem with) but this whole thing with my heart has made me realize that smoking is very stupid in my condition or any for that matter. And wearing a monitor brought this home for me (you would think two Heart Attack’s would have done this, but no.) denial is my middle name. I am thin (always) no BP issues, no cholesterol problems, they were stress related heart attacks from what I later learned.

    So for the ppl who say “I’m sure your Dr knows what they are doing” I call BullShit”. Only you know your body, and only you will take your health care seriously.

    The only reservations I have from all these stories is one, most ppl who are looking to quit ARE already having health problems from smoking, and let’s not forget Heart disease is THE #1 KILLER, period. So who is to say it wouldn’t have happened anyway (like in my case with zero drugs except for nicotine and zero medical history at 34 and 37).

    I do believe that the chantix is the culprit in my recent heart issues, after reading these posts, and am glad I listened to my body and quit taking chantix (only a half a pill) two days ago. I am feeling better. I will post what the results are from the heart monitoring, when I recieve it.

    Good luck to all of you, best advise i can give is listen to your body and please quit smoking, just not with chantix.

  17. Fox Says:

    Also, for any of you that your doctor “won’t say it’s the chantix” read up on medical malpractice and you may see why they say that! They do not want to be the one that says it. Basically it’s the equilivant to the “good ole boys club”.

  18. Angie Says:

    I took chantix to stop smoking back in 2008 but once i went off i nocited a big change in my attitiue where i would get mad and something so mad it scared me and to this day i still get so mad that i dont remember hurting people i love, if anyone has any idea what i can do email me at i am scared im going to loose my futre husband over this

  19. Jen Says:

    I started taking Chantix January 2012 and was into week 2 of taking it and developed a severe rash all over my body. I went to the doctor and they gave me prednisone for a week to combat the rash. It helped but when I went off of it the rash came back. I went back on the prednisone for another 2 weeks. When I came off of it that time the rash came back a little bit but then went away. However, joint pain started to develop in my fingers and wrists and then extreme pain in my knees. Followed by pain in my elbows, shoulders and then feet. I went to the doctor again during all of this and they took, ever test imaginable. While I tested negative for rheumatoid arthritis all the symptoms were there. I then went to a rheumatologist and they confirmed I do have RA. I was 36 at the time they diagnosed me, prior to this I had no symptoms or pain like this. Now, I have a hard time functioning and I am afraid to go on Embrel or Humira and just on 5mg prednisone and precoset to manage the pain.

  20. JOYCE Says:

    Jen do you possibly have Lyme disease?

  21. Michelle Says:

    Eye problems? Took Chantix for about 203 weeks in June. In July started having eye issues. Now my right eye lid has retracted. Two doctors said thyroid is okay. I’m not smoking still – but now i’m scared to death of a brain tumor or something causing pressure. Have more appointments scheduled. Just wondering….

  22. HAS Says:


    I’m on day 8 of chantix and very concerned. I have been having Shortness of breath in the middle of the night something i have never had before. I also have had since day 3 terrible stomach pains and lower back pain which is also not normal for me. My right ear has felt like it is block, and it is hard for me to hear out of it as of this morning. Im worried it is a side effect from the drug. has anyone else had this?

  23. jerri van ellen Says:

    I took chantax 6 months, got blood clots in my lungs and legs

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