Yesterday the Federal Aviation Administration announced that
Chantix would no longer be included in the list of acceptable medications that
can be taken by pilots. This decision comes after a new study linked the drug
to mental confusion and other serious problems that could place the airline
passengers at risk. This also raises concerns about people taking Chantix and
their ability to operate motor vehicles.
The study, conducted by the non-profit Institute for Safe
Medication Practices, linked Chantix to loss of consciousness, reduced
alertness, dizziness, and muscles spasms. Since Chantix’s approval in May of
2006 the FDA has updated the label of the drug several times. In February the
label was revised to warn patients that depressed mood, suicidal ideation, and suicide had been linked to the drug, and last Friday a new pharmacist
medication guide was approved concerning Chantix.
In the last quarter of 2007, Chantix accounted for 988
reports of serious injuries, more than any other drug; only 35 drugs accounted
for at least 100 reports of serious injury.