Friday, June 17, 2011

Smoking Cessation Drug Chantix Linked to Heart Attacks

People taking Chantix should be aware of cardiovascular side effects, including heart attacks, associated with the drug.

After reviewing results of a Chantix clinical trial, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined the drug may be associated with a small, increased risk of certain cardiovascular side effects in patients who have cardiovascular disease.

Chantix (varenicline) is a prescription medication prescribed for people trying to stop smoking cigarettes.

“Cardiovascular adverse events were infrequent overall, however, certain events, including heart attack, were reported more frequently in patients treated with Chantix than in patients treated with placebo,” the FDA said.

Chantix heart side effects reported included chest pains, nonfatal heart attack, need for coronary revascularization, and new diagnosis of peripheral vascular disease or admission for a procedure for the treatment of peripheral vascular disease.

The Warnings and Precautions section of the drug labeling and the patient Medication Guide will now warn of these heart risks.

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