Chantix® and Liver Failure

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Chantix® is intended to reduce cravings for cigarettes, and diminish the pleasurable effects derived from smoking. Despite its intended utility, a relationship between Chantix use and liver failure has been suggested due to the effect the medication has on the organ.

What’s the problem?

Liver failure is a life-threatening condition. The liver cleans the body’s blood, fights infections, and stores energy, and thus any medical problem that keeps the liver from functioning properly can be very dangerous. When an individual has liver failure, the liver loses its ability to function. The early symptoms of liver failure are often:

  • nausea
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhea
  • fatigue

Chantix Linked to Liver Failure

In a case reported to the National Institute of Health, a man with a history of hepatitis C infection and existing alcoholic liver disease who used Chantix for smoking cessation experienced elevated levels of certain enzymes that are consistent with acute hepatic injury, or liver damage caused by the hepatitis virus. The patient’s enzyme levels returned to normal within four months of ceasing to use Chantix. It was determined that Chantix was a possible cause of this episode.

If you are taking Chantix and experiencing any symptoms that may indicate liver failure, contact a physician immediately. With timely medical care, the liver of a patient suffering liver failure may be saved – or at least the part of the liver that still works may be saved. Another option for liver failure is a liver transplant.

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