This is one of those supposedly reassuring findings that I somehow suspect will leave the millions of users of the quit-smoking drug Chantix feeling not very reassured at all. The Associated Press reports here:
Federal health officials said Monday that Pfizer’s anti-smoking drug Chantix did not increase psychiatric problems like depression and suicidal thoughts in two studies, though the findings are not definitive.
The Food and Drug Administration has been investigating reports of mood disorders and erratic behavior among Chantix patients since 2007. The agency said in a statement that two federally-funded studies involving more than 26,000 patients did not show an increased rate of psychiatric hospitalizations among Chantix patients, compared with those using nicotine patches and smoking cessation treatments.
Then come the caveats: The study measured only psychiatric hospitalizations; it might have missed rare side effects; examination of the issue continues, and most of all:
“Healthcare professionals should advise patients and caregivers that the patient should immediately stop taking Chantix and contact a healthcare professional if agitation, hostility, depressed mood, or changes in behavior or thinking that are not typical for the patient are observed,” the FDA said in an online statement.
(Hat-tip to Amanda Art.)