A Canadian study has revealed that the popular smoking cessation drug, Chantix, increases the risk of heart problems in smokers who take the medication.
In the study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, researchers concluded that the drug’s long list of dangerous side effects also includes heart attacks and irregular heartbeats.
Prior to this study, patients reported that the drug caused changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, and suicidal thoughts or actions. Our South Carolina injury attorneys have been reporting on the drug’s side effects for years.
The authors of the study concluded that their results, and those of other studies, suggest a 72% increased risk of heart attack while using Chantix (varenicline). Dr. Sonal Singh, an assistant professor of general internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine was one of the study’s authors and said he would not recommend that his patients take the drug. When quitting smoking, “you want to decrease your risk of a heart attack, instead of increasing a heart attack by 72%,” Singh said.
The results prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue a warning in June stating, “If you have cardiovascular disease, taking Chantix may increase your risk of certain cardiovascular adverse events.” The agency also encouraged patients to report side effects from the use of Chantix to the FDA MedWatch program. The latest warning is in addition to the boxed warning on the Chantix packages citing the risk of “psychological events..
The drug company Pfizer, which makes Chantix, argues that the study’s results are flawed but is working with the FDA to evaluate the existing claims.