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ZYBAN, The smoking cessation drug marked for its adverse reactions

GlaxoSmithKline's smoking cessation drug Zyban, which is being taken by over 5 million people world wide, is held responsilble for a raise in the suspected adverse reactions due to drug intake in UK.

Pharmacovigilance statistics of MCA has shown a raise of about 37% more adverse reactions so called "yellow cards" during the period of January to April 2001 compared to that of last years. MCA spokeswoman explained that the main factor responsible for such an increase in the "yellow cards" is the smoking cessation aid Zyban. However, from January to April 2001 Zyban "accounted for 32% of all yellow cards" she added.

Over 5000 adverse reactions including 40 deaths relating to Zyban has been reported.

As a result of this, the UK Committee on Safety of Medicines issued a statement to doctors and patients recommending change in the starting doses of Zyban and to use the drug only on compelling reasons for the patients at risk of seizures.

GSK spokesmam in response to this commented that Zyban is a prescription-only medicine that must be taken appropriately and not by patients with a history of seizures. He also added that the rate of seizures seen was consistent with the clinical trials experience.

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