Pfizer Just Announced It's Recalling All of This Popular Medication

The commonly prescribed drug is being pulled from the market in the U.S. due to concerns about its safety.

When you get prescribed a new medication, a number of thoughts likely cross your mind: When should I take it? Will it treat the condition it's prescribed for? Will I notice any side effects?

What you're less likely to be asking yourself, however, is whether or not that prescription could be increasing your risk of serious disease over time. However, it's a question you might be wise to consider now that Pfizer has just recalled all lots of a popular prescription medication over the risk it could present to users. Read on to find out if your medication is affected and what to do if you've got this prescription at home.

RELATED: If You Use This Medication, Stop Immediately, FDA Says.

Pfizer has just recalled all lots of Chantix.

chantix packet on gray desk
Shutterstock/Antwon McMullen

On Sept. 16, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced that Pfizer had voluntarily recalled all lots of Chantix, a smoking cessation medication.

The recalled medications come in 0.5-mg. and 1-mg. concentrations and are packaged in bottles and blister packs. The full list of lot numbers and expiration dates of the recalled medications are listed on the FDA recall page.

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The medication could potentially pose a cancer risk.

Doctor comforting elderly patient in hospital bed or counsel diagnosis health.

Chantix was pulled from the market after it was discovered that the medication may contain levels of N-nitroso-varenicline, a nitrosamine, that exceed the acceptable threshold established by the FDA.

While the recall notice explains that ingestion of N-nitroso-varenicline over a prolonged period could potentially increase a person's risk of cancer, Pfizer states that "there is no immediate risk to patients taking this medication." In fact, the company says, "The health benefits of stopping smoking outweigh the theoretical potential cancer risk from the nitrosamine impurity in varenicline."

This isn't the first time Chantix has been recalled in recent months.

hand throwing pills in trash can
Shutterstock/Dmitriev Mikhail

The decision to pull all Chantix from the market is the extension of a previous recall of the drug by Pfizer.

The pharmaceutical manufacturer also announced limited recalls of the product on July 19 and Aug. 16. In both cases, the medication was recalled due to the higher than acceptable levels of nitrosamine.

If you have the medication at home, talk to your healthcare provider.

doctor talking and explaining test result and diagnosis to demoralized elderly patient in hospital hallway

Pfizer has recommended that distributors and wholesalers of Chantix cease distribution of the medication and quarantine any remaining inventory.

Individuals who have been prescribed Chantix should contact their healthcare provider for guidance on other possible treatment plans. If you have any remaining Chantix at home, contact Stericycle Inc. at 888-276-6166 on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET for information on returning the medication and receiving a refund of its purchase price.

RELATED: If You Take This Popular Medication, Talk to Your Doctor Now, FDA Says.

Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more
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