Early Chantix intake helps smokers quit
Smokers who are trying to quit the habit would be more successful if they took Chantix (varenicline), a smoking-cessation drug, four weeks before they actually stop smoking.
The current therapy recommendation for the drug is to take it a week before “D-day”, but a clinical trial conducted at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, University at Buffalo, found that taking varenicline four weeks earlier improved the success rates of smokers trying to kick the habit.
The study participants were 25 men and 35 women who all smoked a pack of cigarettes every day. The participants were randomly divided into two groups. One group was given Chantix for a week before day 1, i.e., the day they quit smoking. The other group was given the drug four weeks prior to day 1.
Both groups continued taking the medication for 11 weeks after day 1.
The researchers found that among those who took Chantix four weeks earlier, 53% remained tobacco-free three months later. In the control group, which took Chantix only a week before, 40% was still tobacco-free after the same period of time.
Interestingly, the researchers also found that in the group that took Chantix four weeks before day 1, the women were able to reduce their smoking by over 50% three weeks into the treatment, while the men reduced their smoking by 26% over the same time span.
Researchers say larger studies are necessary to confirm the difference in the drug’s effect between genders.
This study was published 05 January in the journal Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.