US-based pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has decided to recall its prescription drug, Chantix, which aims to end cigarette addiction, due to the high amount of cancer-causing nitrosamine in pills. The US Drug and Food Administration (FDA) announced that it will recall all versions of Chantix sold as 0.5 mg and 1 mg nationwide. In the statement, it was stated that long-term use of the drug “may potentially lead to an increased risk of cancer in humans, but there is no immediate risk for patients using this drug.”
According to the news cited by Wall, the FDA statement stated that the concerned patients should continue to use Chantix until they receive a new drug to quit smoking, while it was emphasized that the health benefits of quitting smoking are more than the cancer risk caused by the nitrosamine in Chantix.
Pfizer initially paused distribution of the drug in June, and has already recalled a number of lots of the medicine so far. At the time, the company said the pause in distribution was conducted out of an abundance of caution, pending further testing. Pfizer then expanded the recall to additional lots of the anti-smoking drug in August.
Chantix was approved by the FDA in May 2006 as a prescription medication to help adults aged 18 and over quit smoking and is typically used for 12 to 24 weeks.