Champix (Chantix) - the risks are greater then the benefits..

September 27, 2009 - In Dr. Chapman's article of September 18th he indicated that Pfizer, the worlds largest research based pharmaceutical company, is in the middle of a major campaign to convince Australian smokers that they should not try to quit without anti-smoking medication.

Most likely, one reason for the big push to sell their prescription product is that any day now because of the severe adverse reactions users experience when taking this drug it could be taken off the market. In the U.S. alone the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has acknowledged receiving nearly 100 reports of suicide and nearly 200 reports of attempted suicide likely linked to the use of Chantix. Health Canada has said that in the year following its approval, 226 Canadian cases of neuropsychiatric adverse events have been reported in patients taking the drug. Additionally, the FDA also said it is compiling reports of Chantix patients being involved in traffic accidents. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) examined adverse-event reports turned into the FDA in the fourth quarter of last year, and found 988 serious health problems reported in association with Chantix use, including seizures, dizziness, heart rhythm problems, diabetes and more than 100 accidents. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), reviewed the report and has barred pilots and air traffic controllers from taking the drug. U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, oversees the interstate trucking and bus industries, has advised examiners that they should not give commercial motor vehicle license clearance to anyone using this drug. (Operators of any form of transportation warned on the use of Pfizer's smoking-cessation drug Chantix..) (This product is called Chantix in the U.S. and Champix everywhere else.)

Chantix tops the FDA’s list of most dangerous drugs. U.S. government regulators in January 2008 said the connection between Pfizer's anti-smoking drug Chantix (Champix) and serious psychiatric problems is "increasingly likely." Back in July 2009 The FDA rather than recalling Chantix, announced that it is requiring manufacturers to put a Boxed Warning on the prescribing information for the smoking cessation drugs Chantix (varenicline). The warning will highlight the risk of serious mental health events including changes in behavior, depressed mood, hostility, and suicidal thoughts when taking these drugs.

Chantix (Varenicline) - Adverse Event Reports - Death - Completed Suicide

Don't be fooled by Pfizer's promotion of Champix (Chantix). The risk of serious adverse events while taking this product must be weighed against the significant health benefits of quitting smoking.

Based on the evidence that Dr. Chapman presents there's no need to take medication to help you stop smoking. The most common method used by those who successfully stop remains unassisted cessation (cold turkey or reducing before quitting). In 2003, 20 years after the introduction and widespread promotion of cessation pharmacotherapies, those trying to stop in the past year unaided (64.2%) were still twice as many as those using pharmacological aids (32.2%) and only 8.8% of US smokers attempting to quit used a behavioral treatment.

In 1986, the American Cancer Society reported that “Over 90% of the estimated 37 million people who have stopped smoking in this country since the Surgeon General’s first report linking smoking to cancer have done so unaided”.

A 2007 paper in the American Journal of Public Health [97(8):1503-9] showed that of smokers who had quit successfully for 7-24 months, 75.7% had gone cold turkey; 8.6% had cut down then quit and 12.4% had used nicotine replacement therapy.

Reference: Pfizer’s campaign to drug as many smokers as possible by Simon Chapman, Professor of Public Health at the University of Sydney,, 9/18/2009.

Champix (Chantix) related news briefs:
Chantix - another wrongful death lawsuit filed..;
Anti-smoking drugs (non-nicotine) - Chantix and Zyban to carry mental health warnings..;
Another Chantix Warning in Canada..;
Operators of any form of transportation warned on the use of Pfizer's smoking-cessation drug Chantix..;
Pfizer Changes Chantix Label..;
Chantix Reports of Suicidal Thoughts and Aggressive and Erratic Behavior...



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