Anti-Smoking Drug Linked to Seizures, Dizziness

Drivers of motor vehicles should not use the anti-smoking drug Chantix because of its potential side effects, warns U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Earlier, U.S. Federal Aviation Administration banned use of the smoking-cessation drug Chantix by airplane pilots and air traffic controllers.

The warnings came as a result of a study reported by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices claiming that Chantix was linked to seizures, dizziness, heart rhythm problems, diabetes and more than 100 accidents, media reported.

According to the report, the anti-smoking drug was associated with 988 serious incidents in the last quarter of 2007.

The FDA has already updated warnings on Chantix’s label to reflect the adverse effects including depression and suicidal thoughts.

Pfizer has twice updated the Chantix label for potential side effects since its May 2006 approval. The Food and Drug Administration said in February that it is “increasingly likely” Chantix may be tied to serious psychiatric symptoms.

New safety concerns for Pfizer’s smoking-cessation drug could lead to legal trouble for the pharmaceutical giant.