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The US Food and Drug Administraion is reviewing reports of suicidal thoughts and aggressive behavior in people who have taken Chantix, a prescription medication used to quit smoking.

Chantix works on specific areas of the brain, helps people give up smoking by providing some satisfaction that nicotine gives intended to lessen withdrawal symptoms. It also blocks the nicotine from entering the parts of the brain that cause the craving for nicotine which prevents the normal ‘pleasure’ from smoking.

Chantix has been through several clinical studies which resulted in more than twice the smokers quit smoking compared to Zyban, another quit-smoking drug. Smokers need to be ware though as Chantix has many side effects ranging from ‘changes in dreaming’ which many have described as “vivid dreams” to suicidal thoughts and aggressive behavior. According to reports from Chantix patients, these side effects seem to increase drastically when Chantix is taken with alcohol although no official studies have been completed to confirm this.

Extreme drowsiness has also been a side effect which can affect patients’ ability to drive. A preliminary study shows many cases reflect an onset of depressed mood, suicidal ideation, and changes in emotion and behavior starting sometimes within few days after first taking Chantix.

For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Drugs, Medical Devices, and Implants.

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