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Veterans groups react to VA Chantix tests

This week has seen a snowballing reaction to the joint ABC/Washington Times news report about the Veterans Administration testing Chantix on soldiers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. That snowball appears to be gaining speed and momentum. At least five congressman have queried the VA over the Chantix tests, and now a number of veteran’s groups are adding their voice to the chorus of anger. The VA study proceeded without interruption even after FDA warnings surfaced announcing a strong link between Chantix, depression and suicide, and other adverse side effects. Since the story broke, the VA has been trying to brush ... Read More

Outcry grows over VA Chantix tests

On Monday ABC News and The Washington Times broke a report on the Veterans Administration testing Pfizer’s smoking cessation drug Chantix on 140 veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The VA administered the drug to the soldiers without warning them about months-old discoveries linking Chantix to a range of neuropsychiatric behavior and illness, including depression, loss of sleep, vivid dreams, suicidal thoughts, and suicidal actions. Yesterday, Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Barack Obama (D-IL) rebuked the VA and demanded an investigation. Both the White House and VA officials dismissed the criticism, with White House deputy press secretary Tony ... Read More

Senators Obama and Cornyn question VA over Chantix tests

Yesterday, ABC News and The Washington Times broke a story about Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) receiving Chantix as part of a study conducted by the Veterans Administration. Today ABC reports that Senators Barack Obama (D-IL) and John Cornyn (R-TX) are demanding an investigation. In the study, the VA gave 140 US soldiers with PTSD Chantix, not revealing to them that the drug had been linked to a number of physical and psychological side effects, including anxiety, nervousness, tension, depression, suicidal thoughts, attempted suicide, and actualized suicide. The Food and Drug Administration issued Chantix warnings ... Read More

VA testing Chantix on veterans with Post Traumatic Stress

Today, ABC News and The Washington Times uncovered a story that, if proven true, exposes some enormously unethical conduct in our nation’s leadership. According to the news organizations, the Veterans Administration chose to administer Chantix to 140 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), ignoring Food and Drug Administration warnings that the drug has been linked to vivid dreams, psychiatric illnesses, and suicide, to name just a handful of the drug’s potential adverse effects. The VA waited more than three months before it began notifying the veterans of the dangers of Chantix. Even then, ... Read More

One in fifty Trasylol patients dies

A conclusive study of Bayer AG’s aprotinin injection Trasylol uncovered a grim fact: one out of every 50 Trasylol recipients dies. The study was conducted in Canada and involved monitoring the health of 2,331 high-risk heart patients. Known as BART, the study randomly administered one of three drugs to the patients: Trasylol, Cyklokapron (tranexamic acid) and Amicar (aminocaproic acid). BART sought to answer questions about Trasylol’s safety and efficacy, despite the fact that the drug has been in use for over twenty years. Was Trasylol more effective than alternative drugs in controlling bleeding during cardiac surgery? And, how did rates ... Read More

FAA Bans Chantix

The Wall Street Journal reported in its Health Blog on May 21 that the Federal Aviation Administration has banned the stop-smoking drug Chantix for pilots and air traffic controllers. According to the report, Pfizer’s smoking-cessation drug Chantix came in for a bit more trouble as a research group cited reports of physical side effects associated with the drug. The FAA, which reviewed the report, barred pilots and air traffic controllers from taking the drug, the WSJ reports. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices examined adverse-event reports turned into the FDA in the fourth quarter of last year, and found 988 ... Read More

More than 3,000 side effect reports

According to an article published by Bloomberg news service, a recent review of voluntary adverse event reports associated with Pfizer’s stop-smoking drug Chantix reveals more than 3,000 reports of serious side effects in the U.S. alone. Among problems cited by the nonprofit Institute for Safe Medication Practices, which conducted the study, are suicide, heart trouble and aggression. As a result of its study, the ISMP is recommending the FDA strengthen warnings on the drug, which has been prescribed to more than 3 million people since it was approved in May 2006. Also as a result of the report, the Federal ... Read More

Charge dropped due to Chantix use

A man who disrupted a Thanksgiving Day flight and forced an emergency landing has been let off the hook for federal charges after a judge determined the man was emotionally disturbed as a result of taking the stop-smoking drug Chantix, according to an Associated Press report. The man, Andrew James Smith, 25, of California, was prescribed the drug a few weeks before the flight. Factoring into the decision was the fact that Smith did not have any prior record of criminal activity or psychiatric disorders, the AP report says. This incident is the latest in a crop of reports that ... Read More

Dark side of Chantix comes to light

Once hailed as a miracle drug for helping people to stop smoking, Pfizer’s Chantix has recently raised concerns as reports surface that it may have a disturbing side effect – suicidal thoughts and actions. A report in the New Jersey Star-Ledger notes that the FDA is investigating reports of a number of serious psychological side effects. In additon to suicidal actions, reports include agitation and depression. As a result of these reports, the FDA issued a public advisory, and required new safety warnings on the label. However, the FDA said it is still not sure if the side effects are ... Read More

Drug industry seeks tests to spot side effect risks

Seven major pharmaceutical companies are banding together to develop genetic tests that predict which patients will have adverse side effects from drugs. The group, a nonprofit organization dubbed the International Serious Adverse Events Consortium (SAEC), will conduct two studies, one to look at drug-related liver toxicity and the other aimed at a rare drug-related skin condition called Stevens-Johnson syndrome. “SAEC’s focus is to identify and to validate DNA variance or genetic markers that are useful in predicting a drug-induced serious adverse event,” Arthur Holden, the chairman of the group, said during a midmorning teleconference Thursday. The findings of the consortium ... Read More