Pfizer recalls all batches of its Champix anti-smoking treatment

Pfizer recalls all batches of its Champix anti-smoking treatment. image: pfizer

PFIZER has recalled all batches of its Champix anti-smoking treatment due to the presence of carcinogens that could cause cancer

Pfizer is voluntarily recalling all batches of its anti-smoking drug Chantix – which is marketed in Europe as Champix – due to high levels of cancer-causing agents called nitrosamines being detected in the pills.

According to a statement last Thursday, September 16, from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this recall is for all 0.5 mg and 1 mg varenicline lozenge batches, stating their belief that prolonged ingestion of the drug can lead to a “potential increased risk of cancer in humans, but there is no immediate risk for patients taking this drug”.

As a result, this Friday, September 17, the FDA said that patients taking the recalled drug “should continue to take their current drug until their pharmacist provides a replacement, or their doctor prescribes a different treatment”, adding, “The health benefits of quitting smoking outweigh the cancer risk from the nitrosamine impurity in varenicline”.

Pfizer had initially paused the distribution of the drug in June and has already recalled several batches of the drug, with the company saying at the time that this distribution pause was carried out as a precaution, pending further testing, but, Pfizer then extended the recall to additional batches of the anti-smoking drug in August.

Chantix / Champix was approved by the FDA in May 2006 as a prescription drug to help adults 18 and older to quit smoking and is generally used for 12 to 24 weeks, and on January 1, 2020, the Spanish National Health System approved Champix – which is estimated to be 40 per cent effective – to be included among its publicly funded medications, as reported by 20minutos.es.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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