The US Food and Drug Administration has revealed the results of two separate studies looking into reports that Pfizer's anti-smoking drug Chantix increased psychiatric problems. It said that the studies did not show any increase in psychiatric problems when compared to using a nicotine patch.
There had been reports that using Chantix increased psychiatric problems such as depression and suicidal tendencies among smokers who were trying to quit. The FDA initiated two federally funded studies that involved more than 26,000 patients who required hospitalization and concluded that the drug did not show any increased rate of hospitalization when compared to nicotine patch and other such treatments.
However the FDA was quick to state that the study had involved only those patients who had been hospitalized due to psychiatric problems and added that many such problems might have gone unreported.
Stating that healthcare professionals should recommend patients to take professional help, the FDA said in a statement, "Healthcare professionals should advise patients and caregivers that the patient should immediately stop taking Chantix and contact a healthcare professional if agitation, hostility, depressed mood, or changes in behavior or thinking that are not typical for the patient are observed."