NBC Nightly News (7/1, story 6, 0:30, Williams) reported, “The FDA says patients taking Chantix [varenicline] and Zyban [bupropion] should be watched closely for any signs of mental illness. There have been a growing number of reports of suicide, among patients who take the drugs.” Regulators stressed, however, that the agency “is not trying to scare people away from the medicines because, as they put it, quitting is the most important thing.”
The New York Times reports that Dr. Curtis J. Rosebraugh, director of a drug evaluation office at the Food and Drug Administration, said, “Stopping smoking is a goal we should all be working towards,” adding that patients “should just be careful.” Chantix-maker Pfizer “will add a so-called black box warning” to the drug’s “packaging information.” GlaxoSmithKline, Zyban’s maker, will also “expand its existing black box warning on Wellbutrin [bupropion], citing suicidal thoughts by patients who use it for depression, to include Zyban.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that both Pfizer and Glaxo claim “there is no evidence that their drugs actually cause suicides or mood swings.”
From the American Association for Justice news release.