Study data published in the BC Medical Journal suggest that the smoking cessation drug buproprion could be more harmful than previously believed, Vancouver Sun reported Thursday.
In the study, the researchers found that doctors made 22 errors in prescribing the drug, which is marketed under the brand names Wellbutrin and Zyban, while the British Columbia Drug and Poison Information Centre identified nine cases of misuse or abuse.
Additionally, the investigators noted that among 66 individuals who were hospitalised after using the drug, 22 were placed in critical care.
Study author Raymond Li remarked that the involved patients included 12 older children and adolescents, none of whom were attempting suicide, and three children under the age of five who were exposed accidentally.
Ryan Jabs, spokesman for Canada's health ministry, commented that the ministry reviewed the data prior to its publication.
"With any prescription drugs, there are benefits and there may be risks," said Jabs, adding "that's why people need to talk to their doctors about whether this drug is right for them, and to ensure they're monitored while taking the drug."