Friday, January 18, 2008

Serious side effect warning for Chantix

Pfizer just issued a press release warning about potential serious side effects for their smoking cessation medication, Chantix (varenicline). These side effects include agitation, depression, suicidal thoughts and suicidal behaviors.

Here is a link to the original release:

Apparently when this drug was in the testing phase, individuals with psychiatric diagnoses were not included in the test population. In the world of pure study design, that makes sense...but...sigh...if you've ever worked in the world of psychiatric diagnoses or have one, you know how prevalent smoking is within this demographic.

Chantix is not a medication I regularly review, or plan to, but since my intended audience may very well be the population most at risk for experiencing the reported problems, I wanted to be sure this information reached its potentially most relevant audience.

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