Study Finds Chantix Increases Risk of Heart Attack
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As if the black-box warning on Chantix wasn't bad enough already, it got much worse in recent weeks. A randomized, double blind clinical trial, the best kind for getting accurate results, showed that after 12 weeks of Chantix use more than twice as many Chantix patients suffered heart-related problems than the people who were taking a placebo (sugar pill). The FDA has said the new label will include information about the safety and effectiveness of Chantix in patients with existing cardiovascular disease and those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Another clinical trial involving COPD patients showed that Chantix had an adverse effect on people with mild to moderate COPD.
Chantix users should also be aware of the results of another study recently reported in the New York Times. This was a larger study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that monitored 8,000 people taking Chantix in 14 clinical trials. The study showed that 52 people in the Chantix groups suffered a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular event while only 27 people taking placebo suffered the same problems. The New York Times article reported that these results meant that "doctors could expect to get one extra cardiac event associated with Chantix for every 28 smokers they treated with the drug."
Nevertheless, Chantix still remains on the market and patients and their doctors shoulder the responsibility for deciding if the risks of using Chantix are outweighed by any benefit it may provide.