Pfizer Inc. Anti-Smoking Drug Tied to Blackouts

Published: Sep 02, 2011

A U.S.-made drug to help smokers quit has been tied to several cases of impaired awareness, causing at least one car crash, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced on Aug. 30. The ministry stated that it had received six reports of impaired awareness stemming from U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc.'s Varenicline -- sold under the trade name Champix -- between its May 2008 Japanese release and April this year. According to the health ministry, the six cases of impaired awareness occurred among both male and female patients between the ages of 40 and 79. One patient in his 60s was behind the wheel of his car when he began shivering, blacked out and drove the vehicle into a ditch about 20 minutes after taking the drug.

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