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Pharmacovigilance Assessment of Cardiac Implications of Nicotine Replacement Therapy Among Smokers

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Purpose: The purpose of this quantitative comparative study was to examine the possible relationship between nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and cardiac disorder risk by comparing the rates of cardiac disorder risk of NRT with cardiac disorder risk of non-replacement drugs among smokers seeking smoking cessation.

Methods: The study used retrospective quantitative design, which involved the collection of secondary data from the adverse event reporting system (FAERS) database of the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Rates of cardiac disorder were compared between the NRT group and non- NRT (varenicline and bupropion) group. Statistical analyses involved using a 2x2 contingency table and logistic regression to calculate odds ratio (reporting odds ratio (ROR)).

Results and Discussion: Unadjusted ROR was 0.45 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.28, 0.70). With age and sex as confounding factors, the smokers in the NRT group still had lower odds of having cardiac disorder risk than the non-NRT group (adjusted ROR=0.44, 95% CI 0.28, 0.70).

Conclusion: Our study findings showed lower cardiac disorder risk with the NRT group compared to the non-NRT (varenicline and bupropion) group. While the study did not aim to undermine either using NRT or non-NRT for smoking cessation therapy to prevent smoking illness, the study results offer informed findings that could potentially improve current smoking cessation management using NRT intervention among smokers and enhance smokers’ health outcome. Despite the negative signal detection of cardiac disorder risk with NRT as compared to non-NRT in final findings, we still recommend further research on the causal relationship between NRT and non-NRT and cardiac disorder risk.
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Keywords: Nicotine replacement therapy; Non-NRT; bupropion; cardiac disorder; nicotine; smoking cessation; varenicline

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2020

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  • Current Drug Safety publishes frontier reviews on all the latest advances on drug safety. The journal's aim is to publish the highest quality review articles in the field. Topics covered include: adverse effects of individual drugs and drug classes, management of adverse effects, pharmacovigilance and pharmacoepidemiology of new and existing drugs, post-marketing surveillance. The journal is essential reading for all researchers and clinicians involved in drug safety.
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