Q. My husband’s best friend, another soldier, started taking Chantix to quit smoking on Wednesday. Sometime Sunday evening or early Monday morning, he murdered a 17-year-old recruit and shot himself in the head afterwards.
He was the sweetest, kindest, gentlest and most non-aggressive soldier I ever knew. My husband met him in recruiting school, and he was such a smart, talented person.
We are still struggling with what has happened. But after reading a myriad stories relating to Chantix, blackouts and violent/suicidal rage, that is the only explanation I have for what happened.
Our friend had been drinking over the weekend, so I don’t know how much that contributed to his psychosis, but either way, this medication is dangerous! Two lives were lost for no reason. We are so frustrated, sad and angry.
A. We are sorry to learn about your friend’s tragic experience with Chantix. This is not the first time we have heard that this drug was linked to violence: “I live in the UK. On Christmas Eve my boyfriend had been using Chantix for some months. He was drinking and went berserk for no reason, assaulted me and destroyed my apartment… As far as I know, he has no past mental health problems or history of violence.”
Another reader offered a similar report: “My brother took Chantix for about a month, went berserk, beat his wife with no provocation and then called the police. He has no recollection of the incident and had visual hallucinations before this bizarre and tragic episode. His wife of 19 years divorced him, he’s now homeless, and he’s facing multiple felony charges.”
The official prescribing information for Chantix lists depression and suicidal thoughts and acts as well as agitation, anxiety, psychosis, paranoia, hallucinations, hostility and homicidal thoughts. We worry that alcohol might intensify this problem.
We recognize that some people are able to quit smoking successfully thanks to Chantix (verenicline). For that we are grateful. But some people experience intolerable complications from this drug that are sometimes long lasting.
Here are some links to other problems associated with this medication:
• Link 1
• Link 2
Share your own Chantix story below. Did it help you quit smoking successfully? Were you able to avoid side effects? Did you experience serious side effects and if so, what were they like? Would you recommend Chantix to others to help them quit smoking. Please let us know your experience.