Upgrading the Chantix Black Box Warning

Upgrading the Chantix Black Box Warning

In response to a request from drug giant Pfizer to remove the “black box” warning on the smoking-cessation drug Chantix (varenicline – an addictive benzodiazepine-based psychotropic anti-anxiety drug), the FDA has decided to not only retain the warning but expand it.

The current label for Chantix already warns that patients taking the drug may develop aggressive or suicidal behavior. That warning will be expanded to note that the drug has also been linked to reduced alcohol tolerance leading to seizures.

The new safety announcement (March 9, 2015) says, “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that the prescription smoking cessation medicine Chantix (varenicline) can change the way people react to alcohol. In addition, rare accounts of seizures in patients treated with Chantix have been reported. We have approved changes to the Chantix label to warn about these risks. Until patients know how Chantix affects their ability to tolerate alcohol, they should decrease the amount of alcohol they drink. Patients who have a seizure while taking Chantix should stop the medicine and seek medical attention immediately.”

We knew about the dangers of drinking and driving. Now we have one more side effect to worry about — drinking and Chantix. So it’s likely OK to drink and smoke, but not to drink and quit smoking. (That was a joke.)

But it’s no joke that Chantix is an addictive, psychotropic, psychiatric drug with potentially severe side effects. If you want to quit smoking, there are certainly better non-drug alternatives.

For more truthful information about this and other psychiatric drugs, click here.

Knacking

Recently I read this marvelous wordsmithing in the book Kraken by China Miéville:

“You have to persuade the universe that things make sense a certain way. That’s what knacking is.”

So, having a knack for something means, in this sense, making the universe work the way you imagine it should. Of course, the normal meaning of knack is a clever skill or special talent.

That may or may not have anything to do with CCHR or psychiatry, I just could not ignore the opportunity to pass it along.

On the other hand, we might observe that pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is knacking when they try to make their criminal activities go away by saying, “The complaint to which you refer concerns events in 1999, 13 years ago. It does not reflect what would be allowed in GSK today.”

The complaint, of course, is the US government’s allegations of criminal and civil charges against GSK resulting in the settlement announced this week, with GSK fined $3 billion for promoting off-label prescription of the antidepressant drug Wellbutrin, among other charges. (Read more about this here and here.)

Wellbutrin, generic term bupropion, is a newer antidepressant of the type Norepinephrine-Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitors. As a short-acting antidepressant and amphetamine-like drug similar to Ritalin and Dexedrine, it is also marketed in slow-release form as Zyban for people trying to quit smoking. While Wellbutrin is not FDA-approved to treat ADHD, doctors still prescribe it for this.

The FDA approved Wellbutrin as an antidepressant in 1985 but because of the significant incidence of seizures at the originally recommended dose (400-600 mg), the drug was withdrawn in 1986. It was reintroduced in 1989 with a maximum dose of 450 mg per day.

It can cause seizures and at rates of four times that of other antidepressants. Fatal heart attacks in those with a history of heart-rhythm disturbances have occurred. Other side effects include agitation, insomnia, increased restlessness, anxiety, delusions, hallucinations, psychotic episodes, confusion, weight loss and paranoia. Teens have abused the drug by crushing and snorting it, causing seizures.

One might say that the continued production and prescription of Wellbutrin itself is criminal, although that was not one of the government’s allegations.

Click here for more information about the side effects, often called adverse reactions, of psychiatric drugs.

Anti-Smoking Drugs Can Cause You to Commit Suicide

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning July 1 that two stop-smoking drugs can have serious side effects, namely suicide.

Chantix, made by Pfizer, and Zyban, made by GlaxoSmithKline, will now carry the FDA’s most serious black box caution, warning about the potential for suicidal thoughts and suicide while taking these drugs.

Zyban is another name for Wellbutrin, a psychiatric drug prescribed for “depression.”

Recognize that the real problem is that psychiatrists fraudulently diagnose life’s problems as an “illness”, and stigmatize unwanted behavior like smoking as a “disease.” Psychiatry’s stigmatizing labels, programs and treatments are harmful junk science; their diagnoses of “mental disorders” are a hoax – unscientific, fraudulent and harmful. All psychiatric treatments, not just psychiatric drugs, are dangerous.

Watch the video Making A Killing – The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging!