New drug for smoking cessation is under investigation
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
A recent study published in the latest issue of the scientific medical journal, Archives of Internal Medicine reports on the potential use of a new drug varenicline to help smokers quit the habit. Varenicline received FDA approval for sale earlier this year.
Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States as well as other Western countries. The addictive habit causes approximately 440,000 deaths in the U.S. each year and costs approximately $157 billion per annum in health-related economic losses. In 2000, 70 percent of those who smoked wanted to quit smoking. Each year over half of all daily smokers try to quit. But long term success rates are generally not over 40 percent.
In a multicenter, randomized, double-blind phase II clinical trial, 638 men and women aged 18-65 who smoked an average of 10 cigarettes per day during the previous year, without a period of abstinence of more than 3 months, where put on placebo, bupropion (another drug used as a smoking cessation aid, brand name Zyban®), or different treatment schedules of varenicline for 7 weeks. Subjects were tested for continuous quitting by measuring exhaled carbon monoxide. After one year, the success rates were 14.4%, 6.3% and 4.9% for varenicline, bupropion and placebo, respectively.
- David Biello. "New Drug Helps Smokers Quit" — , August 15, 2006
- Mitchell Nides, PhD; Cheryl Oncken, MD, MPH; David Gonzales, PhD; Stephen Rennard, MD; Eric J. Watsky, MD; Rich Anziano, MS; Karen R. Reeves, MD; for the Varenicline Study Group. "Smoking Cessation With Varenicline, a Selective 42 Nicotinic Receptor Partial Agonist. Results From a 7-Week, Randomized, Placebo- and Bupropion-Controlled Trial With 1-Year Follow-up." — , August 14, 2006
- "FDA Approves Novel Medication for Smoking Cessation" — , May 11, 2006
- Willemse B, Lesman-Leegte I, Timens W, Postma D, ten Hacken N.. "High Cessation Rates of Cigarette Smoking in Subjects With and Without COPD" — , November 2005
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