As reported on July 1, 2009, by Saundra Young on cnn.com
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Two popular anti-smoking drugs will now carry warnings about the risk of severe mental health problems, the Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday.
The FDA said Chantix and Zyban will carry the warnings to alert consumers to the risks of depression and suicidal thoughts when using the drugs.
The drugs also have been reported to cause changes in behavior, hostility and agitation in users, whether users had a history of psychiatric illness or not. In many cases, side effects started shortly after use began and ended when the medication was stopped. The FDA does not know what is causing the changes and said people taking these products should be monitored by their doctor.
"The risk of serious adverse events while taking these products must be weighed against the significant health benefits of quitting smoking," said Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. The FDA says that since Chantix was approved in 2006, the agency has had reports of 98 suicides and 188 attempted suicides. Zyban has had reports of 14 suicides and 17 attempts.
Zyban contains the same active ingredient as the antidepressant Wellbutrin and already carried a box warning about the increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior.
Editor Rozek’s Notes: I have to say that I would never smoke so I suppose that this isn’t really a problem for me. In order to understand this article completely, I had to relate it to a topic that I do know something about- cheese! I simply rewrote the article for myself and replaced the word cigarette or smoking with mozzarella. OH MY GOSH! I totally get it now. You take a drug and then-like magic… you don’t have to eat cheese anymore…I mean smoke anymore? That’s a miracle!...wait…you feel like you want to kill yourself if you take the drug? Oh… Well…but what about those hottie little jeans?...I mean…well...what about my lungs COPD?...I’ll do it!