• This May Help Treat Smoking Addiction But Can Cause Heart Attack.

    by Micheal Doyle, MD
    on Jul 6th, 2011

The newest drug to help people with their smoking addiction seems to cause heart attacks in a small but significant number of users:

Our meta-analysis raises safety concerns about the potential for an increased risk of serious adverse cardiovascular events associated with the use of varenicline among tobacco users. Despite the limitations of our analysis, our findings have potential regulatory and clinical implications. Drugs that receive priority review have limited safety data at the time of approval.34 The initial safety signal regarding ardiovascular events in people using varenicline was not followed up by an adequately powered safety trial. Until such trials are conducted, clinicians should carefully balance the risk of serious cardiovascular events and serious neuropsychiatric adverse events associated with varenicline use against the known benefits of the drug on smoking cessation.

Singh S et al “Risk of serious adverse cardiovascular events associated with varenicline: A systematic review and meta-analysis” CMAJ 2011; DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.110804.

This is in addition to the major mood disorders that it (Chantix) sometimes causes.

Once again, we see that many pharmaceuticals have surprising risks that are not noticed by the FDA until long after they are released. Proceed with caution…

Author Micheal Doyle, MD Michael E. Doyle, MD, is a board-certified family physician with nearly two decades of clinical experience. At Darien Integrative Medicine in Darien, Connecticut, he combines his extensive experience in both conventional and alternative medicine to offer his patients uniquely safe and effective care.

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