The researchers said were less recorded instances of death from a cardiovascular event in people who were prescribed varenicline vs patches.
Varenciline, which goes by the trade name of Chantix, is an anti-smoking drug renowned for getting smokers over any cigarette cravings. Whilst considered significantly effective, it is also known to have significant side effects such as causing moderate to severe psychological side effects.
After numerous reports about such disturbances, the FDA had placed the most severe warning available on the medication, which led to Chantix’s sales dropping from $846 million in 2008, to $671 million last year.
No links to cardiovascular health reported
Meanwhile, the current study looked into whether the medication has negative side effects with regards to cardiovascular health when compared to nicotine patches, by analyzing hospital and death records from people who received prescription quit smoking medicine between 2011 and 2015.
The research team found no difference in incidence of major adverse cardiovascular events, such as heart attack or stroke, in people who were prescribed the quit smoking pill varenicline, commonly known by the brand name as Champix, as opposed to those who were prescribed nicotine patches. They added that on the contrary, if anything there were less recorded instances of death from a cardiovascular event in people who were prescribed varenicline as opposed to patches.
The medication was recently listed in the World Health Organization (WHO) updated Model List of Essential Medicines (EML), a collection of medicines considered essential by WHO experts.