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Pfizer expands Chantix recall over potential carcinogen

The company says that there's no risk to patients currently taking the medicine, but that they should find alternatives.

WASHINGTON — Pfizer is voluntarily recalling all lots of Chantix, a drug used to help patients quit smoking, over concerns over high levels of a potential carcinogen, according to a announcement from the Food and Drug Administration.

This recall is an expansion of the recall Pfizer issued for certain lots of the drug back in July. The recall is due to an increased level of a nitrosamine, a type of chemical compound which when exposed to in high doses over long periods of time could potentially cause cancers. According to the FDA, nitrosamines are common and are found in water, cured and grilled meats, dairy products and vegetables in very small amounts.

RELATED: Pfizer issues nationwide recall of Chantix for potentially cancer-causing chemical

Pfizer maintains there is no risk to patients who are currently taking the drug.

"Pfizer believes the benefit/risk profile of CHANTIX remains positive," the company said in the announcement. "Patients currently taking Chantix should consult with their healthcare provider about alternative treatment options. To date, Pfizer has not received reports of adverse events assessed to be related to this recall."

The recall affects 0.5mg and 1mg tablets of the drug, which were sold throughout the U.S., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico from May 2019 to September 2021. While the company has informed wholesalers and distributors to halt sales, Pfizer is asking anyone who may have doses of the drug to return it. 

Consumers can check which lot numbers are included, as well as contact information to begin the return process, on the FDA's website here

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