Chantix May Raise Heart Attack Risk
Chantix, a drug that can assist people who want to stop smoking, may substantially raise the risk of a heart attack or cardiac problem says a new study published on Tuesday.
A paper published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal analyzes 14 previous randomized, double blind trials on Chantix. The data found that of more than 8,000 healthy people, those who took the pill had a 72 percent increased risk of having a heart attack or arrhythmia.
Meanwhile, serious cardiovascular events occurred among 61 of 4,908 people who took Chantix compared with 29 out of 3,308 taking a placebo.
The findings place further questions on a drug that is under heavy, recent scrutiny, despite its apparent success in helping smokers shake their habit. The Food and Drug Administration found that 19 percent of people who take Chantix are able to abstain from smoking for at least one year compared with 7 percent who take a placebo.
A month ago, however, the FDA issued a warning that Chantix may slightly increase the risk of a heart attack or other heart problems among people who already have heart disease. According to the FDA, seven out of 353 people taking Chantix had nonfatal heart attacked compared with only three out of 350 people who took a placebo.
Chantix already comes with a warning on its packaging because it can cause suicidal thoughts and behaviors in some people.
FDA officials advise that people who take Chantix check with their doctor if they experience any new symptoms, like shortness of breath or chest pain.