On December 22nd, 2010 Lamae Stout of Harrisburg, Oregon arrived home from work to find the slain bodies of her husband and 13-year-old son at the top of a flight of stairs. Her husband, Darwin Stout, had stabbed their son Jared to death before killing himself. In a wrongful death suit filed in Lane County Court this month, Stout alleges that her husband’s violent behavior resulted from side effects of the smoking cessation medication Chantix, which he had been taking for six months prior to his death. The suit seeks $2.2 million in damages from her husband’s dentist, who prescribed the medication, and from a Eugene emergency room where he sought psychological treatment two days before his death.
This case is the latest in a string of lawsuits and studies linking Chantix to suicidal and violent behavior. Thomas J. Moore of the Institute for Safe Medical Practices has co-authored several studies on adverse side effects of Chantix patients involving violence.
“In the 26 cases we looked at, people started reacting badly to the drug almost with the first tablets,” said Moore. “These were senseless acts of violence: the victim was anybody who was around.”
We’ll discuss the findings of studies on Chantix as well as the legal issues surrounding the Lamae Stout case and other lawsuits over pharmaceutical side effects.
- Thomas J. Moore: Senior Scientist at the Institute for Safe Medical Practices
- Liz Tippett: Assistant Professor at University of Oregon School of Law