The BBC reported yesterday that an inquest had heard that a man stabbed his wife and smothered his children before killing himself at their Hampshire [UK] home.
The BBC writes:
Andrew Case, 33, was found dead along with wife Vicki, 31, and their two girls Nereya, one, and Phoebe, two, at their home in Fordingbridge in 2010.
He was prescribed an anti-smoking drug, which can have anger side effects, but no traces were found in his blood.
The coroner ruled Mrs Case and her daughters were unlawfully killed and Mr Case killed himself.
The hearing heard Mr Case was originally given 28 Champix anti-smoking tablets on 10 July last year and a further 56 tablets by a chemist on 23 July last year, the day the family had returned from a week-long holiday to Weymouth, Dorset.
The original prescription packet of tablets was found empty in the house and only 28 of the extra tablets were found.
I have highlighted Champix [Varenicline] on this blog many times. Champix, strangely called Chantix in the US, is an anti-cessation smoking drug from the stable of Pfizer. It has been in the news quite frequently but its risks have always been played down by the pharmaceutical giant.
Champix tablets contain the active ingredient varenicline, which is a medicine used to help people who are addicted to nicotine to give up smoking. It acts in the brain, but is not the same as nicotine replacement therapy.
*There have been reports of suicidal thoughts or behaviour in people taking this medicine to help them give up smoking.
Although Chantix [Champix] has never been classed as an antidepressant it does have some indirect actions on dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that some anti-depressant medications work on.
Back in 2009 I wrote to The Civil Aviation Authority, the UK's specialist aviation regulator, and asked them if Pfizer's Champix had been banned in Pilots. Dr Paul Collins Howgill, Head of Aviation Medicine Training at Gatwick wrote back the following resonse:
Dear Mr Fiddaman
Thank you for your email of the 15th August concerning Varenicline.
I can confirm that the United Kingdom CAA has not permitted pilots or air traffic controllers to take this drug whilst holding a valid UK CAA issued medical certificate. This is because of the side effect profile.
We are also aware that although the FAA initially allowed this drug to be taken by pilots and air traffic controllers certificated by the FAA, they subsequently withdrew this approval.
I am unsure as to what the regualtory policy is in other National Aviation Authorities within Europe.
Dr Paul Collins Howgil
If Champix/Chantix has been banned for use in pilots and air traffic controllers then one could assume that train drivers and controllers and possibly bus/coach drivers would be told to abstain from this particular drug too?
Some time ago, BBC Scotland aired a documentary regarding Pfizer's blockbuster drug. I've included this documentary for your perusal.
It's in four parts and well worth watching:
ORDER THE PAPERBACK
'THE EVIDENCE, HOWEVER, IS CLEAR...THE SEROXAT SCANDAL' By Bob Fiddaman
SIGNED COPIES HERE OR UNSIGNED FROM CHIPMUNKA PUBLISHING