Where Did My Brain Go?

Chantix Made Him Do It!

Charles L. Brinker, 49, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 18 months probation, 15 hours of community service, and fined $500, after an argument with his wife.

Although every American husband, has a right to get annoyed with his wife, Brinker went postal and was arrested.

The Chantix Defense

Charles Brinker was arrested, after he drove a Bobcat Loader (shown) into the rear patio of his house, and repeatedly rammed a structural support. Basically, he tried to knock his house down.

Brinker told Judge F.P. Kimberly McFadden that Chantix made him do it. Brinker testified:

“I was on Chantix to quit smoking, and I believe that had a lot to do with it. I'm not a doctor, but I believe it had a lot to do with it.”

I believe him, after my experience with Chantix, which is the worst drug I ever tried.

Three cheers for Brinker's attorney, Leonard Mellon, who kept his client out of jail.

I was also pleased to learn that Brinker has reconciled with his wife, and she attended his sentencing.

Money Talks

Charles L. Brinker, and I not the only ones who have been adversely affected by Chantix, or Varenicline. On January 18, 2008, Pfizer, who manufactures these awful pills, added a warning to Chantix labels. Pfizer said:

“Based upon post-marketing reports first reflected in a November 2007 labeling update, Pfizer today updated the CHANTIX label in the U.S. to include a warning that patients who are attempting to quit smoking with CHANTIX should be observed for serious neuropsychiatric symptoms, including changes in behavior, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior.”

Unfortunately, Americans should not expect any voluntary action by them, because they also said:

It has been prescribed to more than 4 million patients in the United States

That figure was calculated, 18 months after Chantix was approved by FDA on May 10, 2006.

Please Stop Selling Chantix!

Pfizer also said:

“Advise patients and caregivers that the patient should stop taking CHANTIX and contact a health care provider immediately if agitation, depressed mood, or changes in behavior that are not typical for the patient are observed, or if the patient develops suicidal ideation or suicidal behavior.”

Was Charles Brinker supposed to realize that he was agitated, while he was trying to destroy his home?

Was his wife warned? Was he provided with a support network to monitor his behavior? I hope Attorney Leonard Mellon initiates an action against the person who prescribed Chantix to his client.

Quit Smoking or and Die!

On January 15, 2009, The Institute For Safe Medical Practices, (ISMP) which describes itself as “A Nonprofit Organization Educating the Healthcare Community and Consumers About Safe Medical Practices” said:

“The discovery of hundreds of possible cases of serious psychiatric side effects of montelukast (Singulair) 10 years after its original approval–combined with reports of psychiatric ADEs with varenicline (Chantix) –suggest that current clinical testing standards may be inadequate to detect psychiatric side effects prior to FDA approval of drugs. In both cases, modest public notices issued by the FDA triggered an outpouring of ADE reports, once patients and doctors started to make the connection between the symptoms and the drug. This also underscores the extent to which injuries associated with drug therapy are underreported or unidentified.

The belated associations of potential psychiatric side effects with montelukast and varenicline are not isolated cases. The evidence mounts that the current system of drug testing and surveillance is doing a poor job in detecting psychiatric side effects. Just last month, the FDA required a warning about suicidal thoughts and action for 11 different drugs for epilepsy– some in clinical use for decades. In the case of newer antidepressants, prominent psychiatrists first linked these drugs to suicidal thoughts and behaviors in 1990; it was not until 2004 that the first warnings on these products began to appear. Consistent use of psychiatric symptom checklists in clinical studies for drug approval is one possible improvement. We believe this problem deserves systematic study to identify other necessary measures.

Two weeks later…

ISMP issued a Medical Safety Alert reporting:

“For a second quarter, varenicline (CHANTIX) accounted for more reported injuries than any other drug”

When Will It End?

When someone more powerful than Charles L. Brinker, sues the pants off Pfizer for selling Chantix!