Washington, D.C. (AHN) – The anti-smoking drug Chantix was removed by the Federal Aviation Administration from the list of medications deemed safe for pilots and air traffic controllers.

The FAA ban followed a public health advisory issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that contained a five-point safety guide on the severe changes in mood and behavior persons taking Chantix may go through.

The FAA said the connection of Chantix to mental confusion and other problems may endanger the lives of air travelers. Chantix is also known by its generic name varenicline.

FAA based its order on a study posted online by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP). Among the side effects of Chantix, manufactured by Pfizer, were loss of consciousness, lapses in alertness, nausea and muscle spasms.

Les Dorr, spokesman of the FAA, said the agency would send letters to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association to inform them of the new FAA policy.

Since Chantix came on the market in May 2006, more than 5 million people have used the drug to help them stop their smoking habit. Some 3.5 million users were in the U.S.

Curt Furberg, co-author of the ISMP report, said they posted their findings on their website to disseminate the information as early as possible since publishing it in a medical journal may take half a year before it sees print, and more lives could already be placed on stake.

The FDA advisory said Chantix takers may experience changes in mood and behavior, including having vivid, unusual or strange dreams.

Martina Flammer, senior medical director of Pfizer for Chantix, said the findings of the ISMP study were not new. She added that the study did not specify if the Chantix-related problems was caused by the drug, an after effect of nicotine withdrawal or neither. Flammer vowed Pfizer will continue to monitor the medicine for a long period.

We're here to help!

We live by our creed of "helping those who need it most" and have helped thousands of clients get the justice they desperately needed and deserved. If you feel you have a case or just have questions please contact us for a free consultation. There is no risk and no fees unless we win for you.

Fields marked    may be required for submission.
  1. I'm an attorney

Black Box Warnings

You may be familiar with hearing the term "Black Box Warning" without being clear on what it is. Quite...

FDA issues stronger warnings for Chantix, Wellbutrin

The FDA wants Pfizer (the manufacturer of Chantix) and GlaxoSmithKline, (the maker of another commonly...

Heparin, Chantix top list of drugs that caused death,...

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), a watchdog group that researched data dating back to...

The Trouble with Chantix

The FDA recently released a public health advisory warning people of the dangers of Chantix. The FDA had...

Beasley Allen launches Chantix website

In response to a number of recent reports of serious side effects associated with the stop-smoking...


What is Chantix? Chantix (USA) or Champix (Europe and other countries), known generically as...

Continuing the battle with Big Pharma

The entire Beasley Allen staff had our personal interest at heart. We were part of the family of a down to earth, trustworthy, understanding law firm. Thank you, Beasley Allen, for continuing the battle with Big Pharma.