New Health Risks for Popular Stop Smoking Drug Chantix

Yet another red flag is being raised about Pfizer’s popular stop-smoking drug Chantix, with new concerns over the drug’s likelihood of increased cardiovascular problems.  This is only the latest concern over side effects since the drug’s approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006. 

Risks of psychiatric side effects of Chantix, including changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions, have been known for some time.  Now, in a new study published July 4, 2011 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), researchers found that smokers who take the stop smoking drug are at a significantly increased risk of developing serious heart complications.  Specifically, the study found a 72% increased risk of heart attack, stroke, irregular heart beat or other adverse cardiovascular events – even among smokers who have no prior history of heart disease.  These findings come less than 3 weeks after the FDA required Pfizer to update the Chantix warning label about the potential of adverse cardiovascular side effects for individuals with known, pre-existing cardiovascular disease and history of heart problems. 

The CMAJ’s analysis looked at 700 smokers who participated in a number of clinical trials and found much higher rates of heart attacks and other cardiovascular events among smokers who took Chantix, as compared to those who took a placebo.  One in 28 Chantix users had serious adverse cardiovascular events, even though they had no history of cardiovascular disease or any other heart problems.

Disclaimer:   All use of the Chantix mark is for informational and product identification purposes only.  This post should not be taken as either medical or legal advice, but instead should act as a resource in providing general information that may be useful to the general public.  Pope McGlamry is not affiliated with the manufacturer of Chantix, Pfizer, or its distributors.