The litany of side effects associated with popular anti-smoking drug Chantix (varenicline) is extensive. Some of those side effects, such as upset stomach, nausea, and headache, are relatively minor and might be worth enduring in order to quit smoking. Smoking is linked to significant health issues, such as hypertension and lung cancer, and minor side effects associated with quitting are to be expected.
More serious side effects, including angina, tachycardia, and myocardial infarction are also indicated in the medical literature. Though rarer than the minor side effects, these are potentially fatal or debilitating and might kill the individual even more rapidly than cigarettes. Still, a careful weighing of the likelihood of these events compared to the high risk of significant health problems associated with smoking might still yield a decision that Chantix is worth the risk.
But the argument in favor of Chantix is becoming more and more difficult to make as additional research indicates the side effects of the medication are more common and more significant than previously indicated. A study performed in Canada and published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine should be taken into account by anyone considering taking varenicline.
The study, which followed over 50,000 new users of Chantix over the course of a year, found a 34 percent increase in the risk of cardiovascular incidents over the control group. The study also indicated a small but significant increase in episodes of self-harm for those suffering from mental illness.
If you or someone you love has suffered significant medical issues after taking Chantix, and you believe the medication might be responsible, please consult with an experienced attorney. Drug companies must be held accountable for the drugs they manufacture, and a qualified lawyer can help you ensure you make your case.