A Johns Hopkins-led study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggests that healthy, middle-aged smokers who take varenicline (Chantix®), the most popular smoking cessation drug on the market, have a 72% increased risk of being hospitalized with a heart attack or other serious heart problems compared with those taking placebo.
In the study, researchers analyzed 14 double-blind, randomized, controlled clinical trials involving more than 8,200 healthy people who received either varenicline or placebo. Although the same number of people died in each group (n = 7), the increased risk of a major harmful cardiovascular event requiring hospitalization was 72% in the varenicline arms. None of the studies followed participants for more than a year. The average age of the study participants was less than 45, and the majority were men.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced in June that on the basis of a 700-person study, people with existing heart disease who take varenicline have a slightly increased risk of a heart attack or other cardiovascular event. The current study, however, found that varenicline substantially increased the risk of a serious cardiovascular event even among smokers without heart disease.
The researchers said that 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.
Source.“Smokers Using Varenicline to Quit the Habit at Greater Risk of Heart Attack, Study Suggests.” (2011, July 4). Retrieved July 21, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110704123457.htm.
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Source.“DM Systems Introduces New HeelSafe™ DVT Hose.” (2011, June). Retrieved July 21, 2011, from http://www.dmsystems.com/news6-2011.html.…