Champix and Chantix: Your risks to consumers.
The quit smoking drug varenicline (sold under the brand names Champix and Chantix ) is back on the news again, this time in Canada, as Vancouver Sun said it was: "linked to 30 suicides, 44 deaths and more than 1,300 episodes of suicidal ideation or attempted suicide, depression and aggressive behavior."
One day later the newspaper The West Australian published a story about the suicide of Daniel Patterson and stated that the "marketed drug like Champix that has linked 25 suicides in Australia in the seven years 2014 and 286 reports of people trying to take their own lives or having suicidal thoughts. "
"I think Daniel would be alive today if he had not been taking Champix ," said young Daniel's mother, Giselle Slater.
Sun's story attributes 64 hospitalizations in the past 12 months, including 22 cases in intensive care, linked directly to the drug. But this is not the story they put on the advice of doctors, where the potential for flatulence is seen as a major threat. (One of the side effects of these medications is flatulence or commonly known as pedorreo)
The Health Ministry of Canada did not provide any information on the number of patients currently receiving Varenicline although in Australia it is estimated that it has been prescribed more than 2.4 million times between 2008 and 2013.
The focus is also on another smoking cessation drug, bupropion , marketed under the brand names Wellbutrin and Zyban. "We are on the alert for this drug and we want doctors and the public to be aware of our concerns, it has a tendency to cause serious toxic effects, and I do not think there is any awareness of how big the risks are," he said. Dr. Roy Purssell, an emergency physician who is also the drug chief of the Canadian poison and drug center.
"Those harmed by the drug included 11 older children and adolescents, of whom nine were suicide attempts, and three children under the age of five who were accidentally exposed," said Li, a pharmacist with the Drug and the Poison Information Center.
This is in stark contrast to the numbers that do not show up in the hospital in connection with electronic cigarettes - and raises the question, why are not nicotine activists concerned about these children?
Looking closer to home, in research conducted by Professor Robert West in 2008, he wrote that 2.1% of those who had smoked in the past year were reported to have used varenicline in an attempt To stop smoking during that time. This amounts to approximately 200,000 smokers in England using varenicline in an attempt to quit in the last 12 months. It is a study that is very favorable to the drug that reported to Pfizer $ 883 million in its first year of sales.
However, the BBC reported more than 3,000 adverse reactions to it, including suicide and suicide attempts, since 2008. Pfizer have tried to blame pre-existing mental health problems: "Quitting Smoking , With or without treatment, is associated with abstinence syndrome and the exacerbation of underlying psychiatric illness. " So beware, not everything that glitters so much is gold.