VA Warns Vets Of Chantix & Zyban Risks; But Are VA Doctors Complying?

The Veterans Administration (VA) has warned veterans about the dangers of anti-smoking drugs, Chantix (varenicline), manufactured by Pfizer, and Zyban (bupropion), manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). However, one veteran says that VA doctors aren't really complying with those warnings.

VA Chantix / Zyban warning

The VA is warning veterans who choose to use anti-smoking drugs to quit their cigarette habit that the two drugs used by the VA, Chantix and Zyban, both carry serious side effects – a warning that VA doctors didn't previously provide. It lists the possible side effects as:

  • Changes in behavior
  • Hostility
  • Agitation
  • Depressed mood
  • Suicidal thinking and behavior
  • Attempted suicide

To view the VA's communication, please click here. However, one veteran says that the VA's own doctors aren't really complying with their own warnings.

One veteran's warning to others

Larry Scott, a veteran and VA watchdog, says that VA doctors tend to push these drugs on veterans. However, when he asked his own VA doctor about the side effects, he was told that, unless you experienced these issues before, then the drugs are not a problem. He pointed out the absurdity of that statement by directing readers to the first side effect – a change in behavior.

Scott used his website to warn other veterans about these issues and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has warned consumers about the same issues through its communications and black box warnings. Unfortunately, those warnings were a little too late for many.

Chantix lawyers say manufacturers knew about risks, but failed to warn

Chantix lawyers say that manufacturers failed to adequately research these drugs before releasing them into the marketplace and for not providing warnings to patients taking the drug. There have been hundreds of reports of suicides and serious suicidal thoughts linked to both Chantix and Zyban since they were introduced into the marketplace in 2006 and 1997 respectively.

If you or a loved one has been injured by one these drugs, contact an experienced attorney to review your case free of charge by clicking here.

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