Varenicline effective in mentally ill smokers
JAMA (2014) 311(2):145-154 doi: 10.1001/jama.2013.285113
People with serious mental illnesses who quit smoking are three times less likely to relapse following maintenance varenicline, than after placebo. This study is the first randomised, controlled trial assessing maintenance therapy to prevent smoking relapse in people with serious mental illnesses.
People with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (approximately 90 per cent of those enrolled) or bipolar disease who were continuously abstinent for at least two weeks after 12 weeks of open-label treatment with varenicline and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) entered the relapse-prevention phase. During this phase, patients received CBT and either varenicline (1 mg twice daily) or placebo from weeks 12 to 52. They then discontinued treatment and were followed until week 76. Sixty-one people completed the relapse-prevention phase.