Chenoweth Law Group

Dentist, hospital under fire for treatment of Chantix patient

An Oregon woman whose husband killed their son and then committed suicide is seeking financial compensation from the dentist who prescribed him a medication to help him stop smoking. The woman, who came upon the bodies of the two victims after the incident on Dec. 22, 2010, is seeking $2.2 million in damages in connection with the personal injury litigation. The woman is also seeking compensation from the mental health providers who failed to correctly assess the man's behavioral problems after he began taking the drug. The man had been prescribed the controversial drug Chantix by a physician in Oregon, as he was attempting to treat his addition to chewing tobacco.

Chantix is known for its bizarre associated side effects, including hostility, depression and suicidal actions or ideation. Those side effects occur among those who are currently taking the medication, though they can also appear after the medication is stopped.

The man had been taking the drug for about six months between March and October 2010, though it is not clear whether he had suffered serious side effects until later that year. Chantix, a common smoking-cessation drug, sometimes has side effects including major depression and an increased risk of suicide. In fact, the man had visited a hospital just two days before taking his own life. He was discharged by a nurse practitioner and a physician, both of whom decided that the man was not a danger to himself or others.

The suicide victim in this case should have been identified as someone who was having an acute behavioral emergency, and he should have never been released from the hospital since he was in such a fragile state. Victims who have suffered personal injury because of Chantix may be able to recover damages in connection with those incidents, not only from the drug companies, but also from indiscriminate physicians who fail to notice critical warning signs in mentally ill patients.

Source:, "Murder-suicide lawsuit blames Chantix prescriber" No author given, Dec. 01, 2013

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