Navigation Links
Smokers using varenicline to quit the habit at greater risk of heart attack
Date:7/4/2011

Healthy, middle-aged smokers who take the most popular smoking cessation drug on the market have a 72 percent increased risk of being hospitalized with a heart attack or other serious heart problems compared to those taking a placebo, a Johns Hopkins-led study suggests.

"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," says Sonal Singh, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of general internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the lead author of the research.

In the study, described in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Singh and his colleagues reviewed and analyzed 14 double-blind, randomized, controlled clinical trials involving more than 8,200 healthy people who received either varenicline (made by Pfizer and sold in the United States under the brand-name Chantix) or a placebo. Whereas the number of people who died in each group was the same (seven), the increased risk of a major harmful cardiovascular event requiring hospitalization such as a heart attack or arrhythmia was 72 percent in the varenicline arms. None of the studies followed people for longer than a year. The average age of study participants was less than 45 years and the majority were men.

Varenicline has been shown to modestly increase the chances of a successful quit attempt, compared to unassisted smoking cessation attempts. But overall, the majority of smokers who quit do so without any pharmaceutical assistance at all.

Moreover, Singh noted, varenicline already carries a boxed warning the Food and Drug Administration's highest level of caution because of its association with suicidal thoughts and behaviors. "We notified the FDA of our cardiovascular safety concerns with Chantix earlier this year," Singh says.

On June 16, the FDA announced that on the basis of a 700-person study, people with existing heart disease who use varenicline have a slightly increased risk of a heart attack or other cardiovascular event. But Singh's study found that varenicline substantially increased the risk of a serious cardiovascular event even among smokers without heart disease. "I think our new research shifts the risk-benefit profile of varenicline," Singh says. "People should be concerned. They don't need Chantix to quit and this is another reason to consider avoiding Chantix altogether."

Smoking has long been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cardiac death and quitting is known to reduce those risks. Singh and his colleagues from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom emphasize the need to quit smoking, but suggest that varenicline may not be the right drug to kick the habit.

Singh says questions about the drug's cardiovascular disease risks have been raised since varenicline went on the market in 2006, but no study has clarified the magnitude of these risks to the extent found in the new study. Singh says the FDA used a "fast-track" review process in allowing varenicline to be sold in the United States and would like regulators to take a new look.


'/>"/>

Contact: Stephanie Desmon
sdesmon1@jhmi.edu
410-955-8665
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Text message support for smokers doubles quit rates
2. Motivational Text Messages May Help Smokers Quit
3. Preteens surrounded by smokers get hooked on nicotine
4. Quitlines help smokers quit regardless of recruitment method
5. Smokers undergo the same changes in gene expression as patients with COPD
6. Brain imaging demonstrates that former smokers have greater willpower
7. For Nonsmokers, Healthy Living Cuts Death Rate in Half: Study
8. Many Smokers Still Deceived by Cigarette Labeling
9. Smokers believe silver, gold and slim cigarettes are less harmful
10. Blood Test Holds Hope for Spotting Lung Cancer in Nonsmokers
11. Babies Who Sleep in Smokers Rooms Face Thirdhand Smoke
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/31/2016)... ... ... According to recent statistics, there are nearly half a million physical ... Each physical therapy professional and every clinic has a duty to perform at the ... a competitive industry is also essential. The solution that many physical therapy leaders turn ...
(Date:5/31/2016)... ... May 31, 2016 , ... ... FDAI, DAHC, CDC, has joined the Fire Door Solutions’ team. Keith will ... fire door and frame in-field re-labeling. He will be instrumental in developing ...
(Date:5/31/2016)... ... ... More than 80 representatives of the Hepatitis B Foundation , Hepatitis ... an event on National Hepatitis Testing Day outside of Philadelphia City Hall to raise ... of liver cancer. , Foundation leaders and the citywide coalition they created, Hep B ...
(Date:5/31/2016)... ... May 31, 2016 , ... ... Healthconnect’s (Healthconnect) regional health information exchange, which enables physicians at SJMC’s two hospital ... patients from other participating organizations in the exchange. SJMC’s membership in the health ...
(Date:5/31/2016)... Beach, Florida (PRWEB) , ... May 31, 2016 ... ... to Jay Butch of CertainTeed Corporation, he knew it was something that contractors ... as state-of-the-art and cutting-edge as it gets,” says Butch, CertainTeed’s Director of Contractor ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. , May 27, 2016  A new study highlights the ... study conducted by the  Journal of the American College of Radiology , a majority ... particular procedures. Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160527/373022 ... ... Medical Diagnostic ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... , May 27, 2016 ... instances of hypertension is driving ambulatory blood pressure monitoring ... their elasticity and their ability to respond to different ... This condition can lead to various cardiovascular disorders such ... vascular disease. These diseases are growing in prevalence each ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... TEL-AVIV, Israel , May 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... KTOV), an innovative biopharmaceutical company focused on late-stage ... by Dexcel Pharma of pivotal batches ... Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This follows Kitov,s ... pivotal Phase III trial successfully met its primary ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: