Pfizer expands drug recall over toxin fears

July 20, 2021

Pfizer has expanded a voluntary recall of Chantix, an anti-smoking med, due to contamination from the potential carcinogen.

According to the company N-nitroso-varenicline, a nitrosamine, was detected in several dosages of the medication. Nitrosamines, which can possibly cause cancer, are found in a wide variety of substances. But the company said that the level detected in several lots of Chantix was “above the company’s acceptable limit for this impurity.”

Although Pfizer opted to yank a handful of lots from distribution channels, the company also stressed that the presence of the chemical is linked to cancer with long-term exposure — yet, Chantix is only intended for short-term use, which reduces the actual risk of harm to patients.