Does this anti-smoking drug cause heart problems?

pile of used cigarette butts

Patients that are trying to quit smoking to low their risk of heart disease such as heart attacks may get more than they bargained for if they use Chantix (varenicline) based on the findings of a new study from John Hopkins University. Reasearchers reviewed 14 double-blind, randomized, controlled clinical trials that included over 8,200 patients. The study was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal

An earlier study found that patients with pre-existing heart disease had a high rate of cardiac events such as myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) while on Chantix. This new study now shifts the focus onto the potential increased risk of serious cardiac events to all patients, even those patients without a prior history of heart disease.

While the FDA has previously required Pfizer, the maker of Chantix (varenicline), to have a balck box warning on the medication regarding the possibility of patients having increased risk for suicidal thoughts while on the medication, this new revelation may change how often physicians prescribe Chantix to their patients for smoking cessation.

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