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Smoking-Cessation Drug Promising for Alcoholism Treatment

By Staff


3/20/2012

US Pharm. 2012;37(3):11.

Chicago, IL—Varenicline, which is commonly used to help people stop smoking (under the name Chantix), may reduce drinking by altering the effects of alcohol. In a University of Chicago study, a group of heavy-to-moderate social drinkers given a single dose of varenicline reported increased dysphoria and decreased “liking,” even when the drug’s effect of nausea was controlled for. Study subjects happened to be smokers as well as drinkers. Anecdotally, some patients prescribed Chantix for smoking cessation have reported a reduction in alcohol consumption as well, an effect supported by controlled studies. Since the drug increases alcohol’s negative effects, it is posited that varenicline might be most effective in people unable to stop consuming alcohol after just one drink.

To comment on this article, contact rdavidson@uspharmacist.com.

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