Pfizer’s stop-smoking drug Chantix (varenicline) has been linked to cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks, according to a new report.
Scientists in the US and UK wrote in an article published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that said the drug was associated with a 72% increased risk of serious adverse cardiovascular events compared to a placebo.
It also said that there were too few deaths during clinical trials “to allow meaningful comparisons of mortality”.
The researchers analysed data from 14 double-blind randomised controlled trials involving 8,216 participants. The trials ranged in duration from seven to 52 weeks.
Last month, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urged Pfizer to add a warning label to the medication about its potential to increase the risk of heart attack in people who have already had one.
France removed Chantix from its list of state-approved drugs following the announcement from the FDA.