Many Americans will be on the road traveling this Memorial Day weekend. Unfotrunately, as we all know, holiday weekends with holiday travel present more risk for traffic accidents. We have all heard the warnings to slow down, be patient, leave plenty of room between you and the car in front of you, check your tire pressure, etc. But perhaps we should also warn people to check their medications.
First, as you head out for the holiday weekend, you want to make sure that you remember your medicines. If you are diabetic or have high blood pressure or another chronic disease, you do not want to miss your medications. So in those circumstances, your medicines should be the first thing you pack.
But if you have been taking Chantix in order to quit smoking, I would encourage you to leave that one at home, particularly if you are doing the driving this weekend. Over 170 serious events described as accidental injury, including more than 30 traffic accidents and 77 falls, have been reported with use of Chantix. The resulting injuries from the falls have included fractures of ribs, hands, arms, facial bones, spine and lower limbs. According to the manufacturer’s own study, there is a doubling of the risk of accidental injury at at .5 mg does. In the 4th quarter of 2007, Chantix accounted for 988 serious injuries in the United States – more than any other individual drug.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does not allow pilots flying commerical planes or air traffic controllers to use Chantix. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has warned medical examiners not to prescribe Chantix for commerical drivers. The reason? Chantix is being blammed for blackouts and seizures. I don’t have to tell you that the consequences of experiencing a blackout or seizure while driving can be deadly.
You have valuable cargo in your car this weekend, keep them and yourself safe – leave the Chantix at home!