The popular smoking cessation drug Chantix was prescribed to 13 million people alone in 2010. Now, a new study published in the Canadian Medical Journal says the anti smoking drug leads to an increased risk for heart problems.
Researchers pooled data on 14 studies of Chantix and found smokers who take the drug have a 72% increased chance of serious heart problems.
“We had smokers without any evidence of heart disease, and that is where we found substantial increase risk of cardiac events,” says Dr. Sonal Singh of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Others say the study disregards the larger picture, showing that the total number of cardiac problems in the studies was quite small, just over one percent of people on Chantix.
Pfizer said in a statement, “it’s [the company] working with the Food and Drug Administration to review and monitor data for Chantix.”
Pfizer had agreed beforehand to put a heart warning on the Chantix label for patients already suffering from heart disease.
Chantix has been on the market for five years.
After three months of use, up to 50% of users stop smoking, at least temporarily.
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