The stop smoking medication Chantix has been getting some unwanted attention recently in the media. Claims of Chantix causing some very strange and intense side effects have been surfacing quite a bit after the Labor Day shooting of Dallas musician Carter Albrecht. His girlfriend’s neighbor tragically shot and killed Albrecht after he apparently tried to kick the door in of his house early Labor Day morning. Albrecht had been taking the prescription anti-smoking drug Chantix for about a week, when the event occurred. His girlfriend claims that he was not aware of his surroundings and was in a dreamlike state when his violent outburst occurred. She blames Chantix for the normally mild mannered Albrecht’s psychotic actions that morning.
Today ABC news published an article on the event and has had several responses already of people claiming that they experienced reactions similar to Albrecht after taking Chantix. Feelings of depression and sadness seem to be a common theme through most of the responses, but moreover others claim to have had violent feelings after mixing Chantix with alcohol. The really scary part about the posts that I read is the abundance of people taking the drug that claim to have thoughts of suicide while taking the drug with no history of suicidal ideation. Another perplexing thing about what I have read on the adverse effects of this drug is the randomness of those claiming these events. Some rave about the drug saying that it was the best thing that ever happened to them: took Chantix, quit smoking, had no side effects, and couldn’t be happier; while others claim bizarre actions and thoughts and even attempts on their own life.
One woman wrote:
My husband and I took Chantix for 13 days. On the 13th day, without any prior history, he tried to take his own life. If you read the PATIENT INFORMATION SHEET included in the medicines package, suicidal ideation and psychotic episodes are listed under rare side effects. I was told by the doctors that any drug that alters the brain chemistry (and this does) can cause extreme side effects in certain cases. So many people say that this is a miracle drug and the it is great, yet when will it be decided that enough people have died or had severe reactions? I have told everyone that I know, that if they are on it or know anyone on it, to tell their doctors if they or their loved ones notice any problems. If you want to see other comments on people that have had bad reactions go to, http://treatmentonline.com/treatment.php?id=710 My listing is on there on June 25 telling our story. Also, he had to undergo evaluation and in his MEDICAL RECORDS, it states that he has no history and displays no suicidal tendencies. The doctors are even wondering if this is what happened with him. I feel for Carter Albrecht’s girlfriend and family, if I had not been home, I would would be blaming this drug and the company and public would think I was looking for an excuse, but I know that this is a dangerous drug and it will only be a matter of time before we start to see more stories like mine and theirs.
For more information on this subject matter, please refer to our section on Drugs, Medical Devices, and Implants.