A British television executive committed suicide two months after he started taking the smoking cessation drug Champix, which is marketed as Chantix in the United States.
Omer Jama, 39, of Bolton, England, was a Sky Sports video editor who was taking the drug to try and kick his pack-a-day habit, the U.K.'s Daily Mail reports.
His doctor had prescribed him to take the pills for 12 weeks, but eight weeks into it, he had slashed his wrists and stabbed his thigh and stomach, the newspaper reports.
Chantix’s Web site said some patients have reported changes in behavior, such as agitation, depression and suicidal thoughts while taking the drug.
"He's got no history of depression and was never the sort of person you would see feeling sorry for himself," said his brother Ali Jama, 41, of Bolton, England.
However, Jama and his wife Catherine had recently separated, according to the newspaper.
Catherine Jama said her husband seemed happy in the days before his death.
Varenicline, which is the drug’s generic name, is the first non-nicotine, anti-smoking pill. It blocks nicotine cravings from the brain’s receptors that crave it, according to the drug’s Web site.
Ali Jama said the safety of the drug needs to be further investigated.
"It is clear from the evidence of the toxicologist that Champix's influence could have played a part,” said Ali Jama. “I would like to see more investigation done."