July 8th, 2011

Podcast 125: The smoking-cessation drug varenicline poses some difficult tradeoffs.

There is a new meta-analysis from the Canadian Medical Association Journal that finds increased risks among smokers trying to quit and taking varenicline (Chantix). Among smokers with stable cardiovascular disease, the number needed to treat to cause an adverse cardiovascular event is about 30, yet the number needed to treat to achieve smoking cessation is 10.

Our guest, Dr. Sonal Singh, is the first author of this meta-analysis. As you’ll hear, he has strong feelings about his team’s findings.

Related links:

CMAJ paper (free)

CMAJ commentary (sorry, but it’s not free)

Physician’s First Watch coverage of the paper (free)

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