Harvard Heart Letter

Stop-smoking drug may be safe

If you have tried to quit smoking, you know how difficult it is. Nicotine is so addictive that smokers often must try multiple smoking-cessation aids and combinations of aids before they are able to break the habit—a critical step for people with heart disease.

Many people have been successful with a drug called varenicline (Chantix), which acts directly on the brain to interfere with nicotine dependence. Doctors recently became concerned when an analysis of existing studies on varenicline published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CAMJ) concluded that the drug posed a significant risk of serious cardiovascular events.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »