Champix: Just Another Name For Chantix

Note: Truckers on Champix cannot be licensed!

Are you aware of the fact that Champix is nothing but another name for the FDA approved quit smoking drug Chantix? Well, only a certain section of people around the world are acquainted with this fact and the other half who are really ignorant of the relationship between Chantix and Champix fall into utter perplexity when they get hold of Champix while looking for the quit smoking medicine Chantix. So, to inform you the real truth on Chantix as well as Champix, a couple of pointers are mentioned below:

  • Varenicline Tartrate is the generic name of Chantix as well as Champix.
  • Initially, Pfizer selected Champix as a brand name for Varenicline Tartrate but the Food and Drugs Administration, USA(FDA) rejected it citing that the name Champix is “overly fanciful and overstates the efficacy of the product” from the promotional point of view. As a consequence Pfizer changed the name to Chantix, obtained FDA approval for the drug on May 11,2006 and launched Chantix as an anti-smoking medicine in US under the same name.
  • But the brand name Champix for Varenicline Tartrate was accepted by the European Commission a few months after the launching of Chantix in the pharmaceutical market and on September 29, 2006, the drug was relaunched as Champix in the European countries.
  • On 14 th January, 2007 Champix was made available for sale as a prescription-based quit smoking medicine on the Scotland National Health Service (NHS).

Chantix suffered a one-two punch yesterday, as a watchdog group’s report linked the stop-smoking med to a wide variety of health and safety problems, and the Federal Aviation Administration told pilots and air traffic controllers not to use it. The FAA’s decision directly affects only 150 pilots and 30 air traffic controllers known to be taking the drug, but it could lead to bans by other transportation agencies.

Potentially more damaging is the Institute for Safe Medication Practices’ report, which analyzed the hundreds of adverse events reported to the FDA. More than 200 reports of suicide attempts or suicides, almost 400 of possible psychosis, and 525 of hostility or aggression were sent to the agency between May 2006 and December 2007. (Putting this in perspective, an estimated 6.5 million people have used the drug.)

Okay, we’ve known about Chantix’s link to psychiatric side effects for some time; the FDA asked Pfizer to add warning language to the drug’s label. And the Institute allowed that the number of reports might have been spurred upward by publicity surrounding a Dallas musician’s bizarre beharior on Chantix. But nevertheless, the report said, Chantix’s risks have been underestimated. The study’s lead author called on Pfizer and the FDA to “immediately” strengthen warnings on Chantix’s label and launch careful studies of the safety issues.

The new report also linked Chantix to other side effects:

  • Accidents and falls
  • Potentially lethal heart rhythm problems
  • Heart attacks
  • Seizures
  • Diabetes
  • Headaches
  • Increased need for the bathroom
  • Difficult sleeping
  • Nightmares
  • Chest pains
  • Heart palpitations
  • Skin reactions
  • Rashes
  • Itchiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Changes in appetite
  • Constipation

Rattled by the data–and by recent prescription trends, which have been decidedly downward –Wall Street analysts cut their sales forecasts for Chantix. Year over year, Chantix scrips have dropped 30 percent, and if they continue falling at that pace, “forecasts for Chantix could be too high by as much as $500 million to $1 billion by 2012,” a Sanford Bernstein analyst wrote. That firm, for one, is cutting its 2008 forecasts–to $909 million in global sales from $1.14 billion–and 2012 numbers to $700 million from $1.6 million. For 2007, Chantix sales were $883 million.

Janell wrote

I quit Chantix after the morning of my 9th day. I was feeling anxious and forgetful and not like myself at all. I need a good nights sleep and was waking every hour from the horrid dreams, terrible dry mouth and heartbeat that was going through the roof! I called the hotline to see what they recommend to sleep at night and was transferred to a Pfizer pharmacist who wanted to know all of my symptoms but offered no help at all, just said it would be reported to the FDA and go talk to your doctor. I asked him about driving and he said “we do not recommend driving on this drug!” I’m in outside sales and drive daily (and had noticed that I was a bit anxious on the freeways, not my usual cool as a cucumber driver.) Had this been on the warning label I could have saved myself $132. They should definitely list on the label “WE DO NOT RECOMMEND DRIVING ON THIS DRUG.” Much business would be lost I’m sure. Please read the full list of 160 side effects before filling your prescription!

 

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