The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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In Brief: Cardiovascular Safety of Varenicline (Chantix)

Varenicline (Chantix), which has been associated with neuropsychiatric symptoms such as agitation, depressed mood, changes in behavior and suicidal ideation, appears to be the most effective drug available for treatment of tobacco dependence.1 Recently, the FDA warned that varenicline may also increase the risk of cardiovascular adverse events in patients with cardiovascular disease.2 This warning was based on the results of a 12-week randomized trial in 714 smokers with stable cardiovascular disease. The drug was effective in helping patients stop smoking; long-term quit rates (at 52 weeks) were 19% with varenicline and 7% with placebo.3 The results also included the following cardiovascular adverse events:

The authors of the study interpreted these results as providing reassurance that varenicline appears to ... more      

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