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

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.


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

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