SOURCE: Cory Watson Crowder & Degaris

Cory Watson Crowder & DeGaris

June 09, 2010 17:46 ET

Canada Health Warnings for Pfizer Smoking Cessation Drug Champix®

Drug Marketed as Chantix® in the U.S.

BIRMINGHAM, AL--(Marketwire - June 9, 2010) -  Health officials in Canada have added a Boxed Warning to the Pfizer smoking cessation drug Champix® (varenicline) alerting consumers to the risk of neuropsychiatric side effects. The safety warning from Health Canada notes that patients using Champix® in an effort to quit smoking should be aware that neuropsychiatric side effects have occurred in people who have a history of psychiatric disorders and in people who have not suffered psychiatric disorders in the past. In addition to the Boxed Warning, Health Canada issued a Public Communication noting that Champix® patients who drink alcohol may be at increased risk for neuropsychiatric side effects. The advisory also mentions the risk of allergic reactions and side effects ranging from sleepiness and dizziness to loss of consciousness and seizure.

The Health Canada advisory recommends that "Patients should not engage in potentially hazardous activities, such as driving a car or operating heavy machinery until they know how they may be affected by Champix®." The Pfizer drug is also under fire in the U.S. Champix® is marketed under the trade name Chantix® in the U.S. and similar health alarms were sounded by the FDA nearly a year ago. The FDA 2009 warning noted that the stop smoking drug had been linked to a number of neuropsychiatric side effects including suicide, suicide ideation, depression and aggression. Pfizer, the manufacturer of Champix® and Chantix®, faces lawsuits in the U.S. and Canada as a result of serious injury and death alleged to be associated with its use.

In the United States, all federal Chantix® litigation has been coordinated in federal court in Birmingham, Alabama before Judge Inge Johnson. Attorney Ernest Cory of Cory Watson Crowder & DeGaris has been appointed to serve as Lead Counsel for plaintiffs in this litigation. In Canada, Cory Watson Crowder & DeGaris and other counsel have filed class actions against Pfizer on behalf of all Canadian citizens injured by the drug.

Cory Watson Crowder & DeGaris is a Birmingham, Alabama law firm recognized nationally for its practice in mass torts litigation of defective medical devices and pharmaceuticals, class actions, multidistrict litigation and complex litigation including business and securities litigation and environmental litigation.

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