Pop quiz. Read this list of items and tell me at what point you decide that whatever does this to you is something you don’t want to have anything to do with.
That’s it. At least for now. The drug in question is new so doubtless more side effects will pop up as more and more people take it.
So what is this magical medication?
Kill or cure
It’s called Chantix and it’s supposed to help people quit smoking.
Now, we all know that smoking is bad for you. More than bad really. Fatal. It can destroy your lungs, cause cancer, increase your risk of heart disease and stroke, make your hair/clothes/breath/house stink and generally screw up your life. But is this really a much better option? A drug that could kill you faster than the stuff it’s supposed to cure?
You have to wonder what the scientists were thinking as they studied the results of their research. Obviously the fact that Chantix might help some people quit smoking goes in the “plus” column. But then as you start to look at the increasingly long and bleak “minus” column you have to think that at some point someone might have said “Er, chaps, maybe this isn’t such a good drug to be offering people?”
So, at what point did someone from the corporate head office stick his head in and say “Look ignore that stuff. We’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars on this drug and by god we’re going to get some of it back.”
I’m sure the conversation was never quite that pointed or direct, or even honest, but the basic gist of it is the same. We have this drug, we’ve spent a lot of money on it, we need to make some of that cash back.
So now the question is how do you persuade someone, anyone, that this could be the drug that finally helps them quit ciggies? You play the guilt game. You create an ad showing kids and a mom who wants to stop and this is the drug that will help her do it – for the sake of her family.
Suicide. Oh, sorry, did I mention that’s a possibility
And agression too.
So, not only is this a drug that could lead you to kill yourself to stop you killing yourself it could also lead you to kill me.
Here’s what the warning label on Chantix says: If you, your family, or caregiver notice agitation, hostility, depression, or changes in behavior, thinking, or mood that are not typical for you, or you develop suicidal thoughts or actions, anxiety, panic, aggression, anger, mania, abnormal sensations, hallucinations, paranoia, or confusion, stop taking CHANTIX and call your doctor right away.