Champix is safe for smokers with mental illness

Posted by DrMendelsohn on 25 April, 2016

champix_1_web.jpgA large study (the EAGLES study) was published this week in the Lancet medical journal and establishes that Champix (varenicline) is safe for smokers with and without mental illness.

After Champix became available in 2008, there were some reports of users experiencing anxiety, depression, changes in behaviour or suicide thoughts and attempts. For some time, it was unclear if Champix was the cause of these symptoms or if they were just due to quitting smoking.

The trial included 8,144 smokers and was conducted in 16 countries. Half the smokers had a history of psychiatric illness. Equal numbers of smokers in the trial were given Champix, Zyban, nicotine patch or placebo (sugar pills) - about 2,000 in each group.

There was no increase in these side effects in users taking Champix compared to those taking Zyban, nicotine patch or placebo (sugar pills). This was true for smokers with and smokers without mental illness.

Champix was also the most effective treatment and increased quit rates by 3-4 times placebo.

This study confirms many previous studies which have consistently shown no evidence that Champix causes suicide, depression or changes in behaviour.

Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your health. For smokers with mental illness, quitting improves both your mental health and physical wellbeing. After quitting, smokers are more relaxed and less depressed. Champix is safe for smokers with mental illness and is the most effective single drug to help you quit.

Click here for more information about Champix.



Anthenelli RM. Neuropsychiatric safety and efficacy of varenicline, bupropion, and nicotine patch in smokers with and without psychiatric disorders (EAGLES): a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Lancet 2016

Pfizer media release on EAGLES study


Disclosure. I am on Pfizer Australia's Champix Advisory Board

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