Chantix Heart Risks

Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - 8:23am

Study finds drug used to quit smoking dramatically increases risk of heart attack.

A new study has linked Chantix, a popular smoking cessation drug prescribed to 13-million people last year alone, 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.

Others say the study ignores the larger picture, pointing out that the total number of cardiac events in the studies was quite small, just over one percent of people on Chantix.

Pfizer markets Chantix, and in a statement, said it's working with the Food and Drug Administration "to review and monitor data for Chantix."

Pfizer had previously agreed to put a heart warning on the drug's label for patients already suffering from heart disease.

Chantix has been on the market since 2006.

After three months of use up to half of users stop smoking, at least temporarily.

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