GP criticised over suicide linked to quit-smoking drug

GPs should ask users' family and friends to monitor their behaviour, a coroner says.

A GP who prescribed varenicline to a patient who took his own life a week later should have warned family members to monitor him for neuropsychiatric symptoms, a coroner says.

Gavel and legal books

In 2013, Brisbane GP Dr Oliver Yang prescribed 0.5mg varenicline (Champix) daily for smoking cessation treatment to Timothy John, a 22-year-old with a history of anxiety, PTSD and drug abuse.

Coroner John Hutton said although Dr Yang warned Mr John the drug may affect his mood and anxiety levels, he did not alert the patient's family or friends to stop the drug