Smoking cessation pill to be banned
Champix (Varenicline) from Pfizer, a drug that is claimed to help people quit smoking is currently under the scanner by the MHRA, the UK medicines” watchdog. It has been claimed that Champix is causing suicidal tendencies in people using it. 839 adverse drug recations were reported and included depressive behavior, mainly in people with previous psychiatric disease.
Champix both stimulates and blocks the nicotinic receptors in the brain. By stimulating the receptors it reduces the cravings and by blocking the receptors it results in a weaker response to people who give in and light up a cigarette. 44% of the users give up smoking after taking Champix twice daily for 12 weeks.
Nausea, abnormal dreams, dizziness, vomiting, drowsiness, fatigue and headache are some of the side effects. Pfizer however claims that there is no scientific evidence between the drug and post-marketing events. They mention that quitting smoking is associated with withdrawal symptoms and can exacerbate underlying psychiatric illness.