Lawsuit Says Smoking Medication Led to 2009 Murder-Suicide

A lawsuit alleges that that side effects of an anti-smoking medication led a man to kill his wife and then himself.The families of Sean and Natalie Wain have field a lawsuit against the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, claiming that Sean's consumption of the smoking cessation drug Chantix resulted in side effects that led him to kill his wife and then himself in 2009, according to published reports.

The Wains' violent deaths traumatized their Pennsylvania community and left their four children orphaned. Reports say that Sean Wain shot his wife in the front yard of their home on May 17, 2009 before turning the shotgun on himself. At the time, police said the couple had been fighting and were on the verge of separating, according to the Beaver County Times.

The lawsuit says that Wain had been taking Chantix for about two weeks prior to his death. The suit accuses Pfizer of negligence for not disclosing the possible mood-altering effects of Chantix and continuing to market the medication despite its potentially fatal side effects. In 2007, the newspaper said the Food and Drug Administration announced it was analyzing 'adverse event reports' from Chantix users, including changes in behavior, depression and suicidal thoughts, but did not require that a warning be placed on the medication.

Two weeks after the Wains' murder-suicide, the FDA issued a black box warning on Chantix, which is the agency's strongest safety warning. Zyban, another smoking cessation drug, also had the warning placed on it.