Quoted from http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/bs-hs-anti-smoking-drug-20110704,0,3472281.story
Chantix may cause more heart attacks than previously thought
Hopkins study finds increased risk with anti-smoking drugBy Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun
5:16 p.m. EDT, July 4, 2011
A new study led by a Johns Hopkins researcher says the popular anti-smoking drug Chantix significantly increases the risk for a heart attack or other serious heart problem in healthy, middle-aged smokers.
Dr. Sonal Singh, the study's lead author, is calling for warnings on the drug to be stronger than those currently required by the Food and Drug Administration.
"People want to quit smoking to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, but in this case they're taking a drug that increases the risk for the very problems they're trying to avoid," said Singh, an assistant professor of general internal medicine. The study, which said the risk increased by 72 percent for healthy, middle-aged smokers, was released Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Singh, who reviewed 14 clinical trials, said the risk is significantly higher than the U.S. FDA indicated in mid-June when it warned about a small increase in cardiovascular impacts for those on the drug, generically known as varenicline. The FDA's warning was based on a study of 700 smokers who already had cardiovascular disease.
FDA officials responded by saying that more analysis was needed before the agency would change its position. They have also asked the drug's maker, Pfizer, to conduct another review and to plan its own study.