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Chantix is a prescription medication to help people discontinue smoking. The drug has been around for several years and has been reported to reduce cravings and decrease the pleasure derived from smoking cigarettes.
Chantix is approved for use for 12 weeks and if smoking cessation has been achieved, it may be used for another 12 weeks. The success rates of Chantix are variable.
The industry reports high success rates, but anecdotal reports on cyberspace indicate that only a few people benefit. The drug is also prohibitively expensive.
In June of last year, British researchers warned that the drug might increase the risk of heart disease. The FDA then released a safety announcement that the drug may be associated with a slightly increased risk for heart attacks in people who already have heart disease.
Now researchers from San Francisco indicate that Chantix does not increase the risk of stroke or heart attacks and challenges the studies done by the British workers.
In the latest study, published in the British Medical Journal, the researchers found no significant differences in rates of heart attacks and other serious events in people who use Chantix compared to people who did not. In the UCSF study, results from 22 clinical trials involving 9,000 patients were evaluated and the drug was found to be safe. (1)
These results are a reassurance for health care providers who prescribe Chantix. So far, of all the drugs available, Chantix appears to be the most successful in helping people quit smoking.
Even though the UCSF study shows that Chantix does increase the risk of heart disease, this is not universally accepted by other clinicians and the controversy rages on.
Smoking is known to have many adverse health consequences ranging from heart disease, lung cancer, and strokes. Quitting smoking offers immediate health benefits, but the addiction is very difficult to break.
The success rates of Chantix are not high but still better than other medications. Between 19-47 percent of people who use Chantix will quit smoking.