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Thread: Smokers die after taking Zyban cure

  1. #1
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    Smokers die after taking Zyban cure

    Eighteen smokers have died after taking Zyban - the new 'wonder cure' for nicotine addiction, The Mail on Sunday reveals today.
    The deaths, reported by GPs to the Department of Health, have occurred in the seven-and-a-half months since the drug was launched. Those who died were mainly in their 40s and 50s - although one was aged just 21.
    Health Department figures also show that 3,457 Zyban users have suffered a disturbing range of suspected side effects - from chest pains to fits, seizures and depression.
    Manufacturers GlaxoSmithKline and health officials last night insisted there was no evidence that Zyban was unsafe. But Ministers are under pressure to launch an urgent investigation into the drug, which has been prescribed to some 270,000 smokers in Britain.
    Experts said last night that, extrapolating the figures over a year, Zyban accounted for more than 25 per cent of all reported adverse reactions to medicines prescribed in Britain and more than 11 per cent of fatal cases. Mike Stone, of the Patients' Association, said: 'For the peace of mind of the people taking the drug, there should be some kind of inquiry.'
    Zyban, introduced last June, is a key part of a Government plan to help Britain's 12 million smokers to quit - and cut the annual 1.7 billion cost of treating smoking-related illnesses. As with all new drugs, GPs were asked to report any suspected side effects to the Government's Medicines Control Agency.
    There have been 73 cases of patients suffering fits, only half of whom had done so before. An ambulance driver taking Zyban had a seizure and crashed her vehicle.
    Other side effects included insomnia, rashes, nausea, headaches, depression, anxiety and chest pain. Zyban works by regulating two chemicals in the brain - dopamine and noradrenaline - believed to be linked to nicotine addiction. Doctors believe that it can have mood-altering properties in some people.
    Of the 18 who died, four people had heart attacks. Two committed suicide, four died from various forms of brain disorders, one had heart disease and one had acute asthma. It was not known last night how the others died.
    There is not believed to be any direct medical evidence to link the drug with the deaths, but under Medicines Control Agency guidelines doctors only refer cases if they suspect there is at least a theoretical connection.
    Concerns about the drug surfaced last week at the inquest into the death of Alan Ridley, a 46-year-old father of four, who died two days after starting a course of Zyban.
    Recording an open verdict, Sunderland coroner Martin Smith said he would refer the case to the Medicines Control Agency. He said: 'It could have played no part at all, or there is the possibility that it may have contributed.'
    A post mortem examination revealed that Mr Ridley, a bus company owner who had a 40-a-day cigarette habit, had not suffered a stroke, blood clot or heart attack. The inquest heard that he had failed to alert his doctor to a family history of blackouts and fits, which might have affected his doctor's decision to prescribe Zyban.
    His daughter Michelle Smith, 20, said: 'We cannot say Zyban killed dad, but we cannot say it didn't.
    Until that question is answered I believe the safest thing would be to withdraw it. As a family we want answers and we have been contacted by other families in the same position.'
    Mr Ridley had tried 'many times' to give up smoking, said his daughter. 'He went to see the doctor, who prescribed Zyban. His death came as a complete shock. He has a twoyear-old grandson and his first granddaughter arrived just three days before his death. Now they will never know their grandfather.'
    The Mail on Sunday has also learned of the case of a 21-year-old woman who died suddenly after taking the drug. Her family fears Zyban might be linked to her death, but are awaiting the results of an inquest.
    Professor John Griffin, editor of the journal Adverse Drug Reactions, said the number of reported side effects for Zyban was high.
    'It does seem a lot when you think that you only get about 20,000 reports of adverse reactions a year to all prescription drugs and 250 deaths,' he said. 'If one drug accounts for 20 per cent of all adverse reactions, trivial or major, it is something worth looking at.'
    But a spokeswoman from the Medicines Control Agency stressed that the contribution - if any - of Zyban to these deaths was unknown. The monitoring scheme was 'intensive' - so it was likely that there would be a big reaction from GPs asked to report 'all suspected adverse reactions which could in any way be related to the medicine.'
    The spokeswoman added: 'It should be noted that patients may be required to stop smoking because of underlying diseases and these may well explain the some of the reported deaths.'
    A two-month course of the drug, first prescribed in America as an anti-depressant, costs 85.70 per patient and is available on NHS prescription in most regions.In tests, 30 per cent of people treated with Zyban were not smoking a year later - making the drug twice as successful as nicotine patches.
    GlaxoSmithKline estimates one in every 1,000 patients will suffer a fit from Zyban. Those with a history of fits are advised against taking it. A spokeswoman for the firm said: 'Zyban is well tolerated. As with any drug there will be side effects. But there is no evidence of an increased risk of death.'


    Read more: Smokers die after taking Zyban cure | Mail Online
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  2. #2
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    I had zyban it worked but originally it was meant to be an anxiety drug. When using it people found they didn't feel like smoking anymore. I was taking it to quit until one day I felt heaps itchy and my stomach was covered in huge welts.. very bad drug!
    I Don't Smoke Analogues

  3. #3
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    A spokeswoman for the firm said: 'Zyban is well tolerated. As with any drug there will be side effects. But there is no evidence of an increased risk of death.'

    hmmmmm, yeh, right. How is it that doing your job and doing the right thing don't match. I wonder if that happens often in these big companies /s


    ]6⁹.12[

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sushiaddiction View Post
    How is it that doing your job and doing the right thing don't match. I wonder if that happens often in these big companies /s
    It's called position criteria
    sushiaddiction likes this.

  5. #5
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    In tests, 30 per cent of people treated with Zyban were not smoking a year later - making the drug twice as successful as nicotine patches.
    Probably because they're dead.

    They'll keep pushing this drug until the bitter end, yet crap on about the unknown dangers of vaping. How are you supposed to trust the pharmaceutical industry when they are so clearly driven by profit alone, and not by the well-being of people?
    Olfella and lulu68 like this.



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  6. #6
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    But have they quit their Zyban addiction?

 

 

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