Monday, May 26, 2008

Stop Smoking: Side Effects from Chantix?

I was reading in the LA Times about driving accidents that are being linked to the new stop smoking drug-Chantix:,0,4540550.story

The US Public Health Service recommends that all smokers wanting to quit, be offered medications. Currently there are 7 FDA approved drugs to stop smoking. But with any medication that is taken, there can be side effects. There have been reports of increased suicide ideation with the use of Chantix. But which came first? Because of the high number of smokers that already have a mental disorder, smokers are already at a higher suicide risk. Is this effect due to taking the drug or an underlying problem? Or a combination of both?
Different people are going to have different reactions to medications. So is the right choice to take a medication? Or go cold turkey without any medicinal help?
Smokers should be fully informed about their options and should fully inform their doctors about any underlying mental disorders, substance use, and other medications that are being taken. Every factor that is undisclosed could cause potential problems. The FDA needs a better system of reviewing the possible side effects from drugs that have been approved and what kinds of other factors product prominent side effects. And finally the FDA needs a better reporting system, so that side effects can be communicated to the public quickly.
What are your thoughts?

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