Thursday, May 11, 2006

FDA approves Chantix.

It's a novel medicine for smoking cessation. Cigarettes just aren't as satisfying when you take this twice a day. From the FDA website:
"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today approved Chantix (varenicline tartrate) tablets, to help cigarette smokers stop smoking. The active ingredient in Chantix, varenicline tartrate, is a new molecular entity that received a priority FDA review because of its significant potential benefit to public health.

Chantix acts at sites in the brain affected by nicotine and may help those who wish to give up smoking in two ways: by providing some nicotine effects to ease the withdrawal symptoms and by blocking the effects of nicotine from cigarettes if they resume smoking...

The approved course of Chantix treatment is 12 weeks. Patients who successfully quit smoking during Chantix treatment may continue with an additional 12 weeks of Chantix treatment to further increase the likelihood of long-term smoking cessation.

In clinical trials, the most common adverse effects of Chantix were nausea, headache, vomiting, flatulence (gas), insomnia, abnormal dreams, and dysgeusia (change in taste perception).


Blogger Raine said...

and the BIG questions ARE.......... how much does it cost?? and will my insurance pay for it???

2:12 PM  
Blogger Dr. Deborah Serani said...

I am waiting for something to do the same with chocolate. Seriously, I am NOT kidding.

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if the strange dreams become a permanent side-effect after discontinuance, and if the dreams become weirder and weirder as time goes on.

7:21 AM  
Anonymous IndianCowboy said...

I'm thinking insurance would definitely pay for it. They are, when all is said and done, interested in risk reduction more than anything else.

Even if it's pretty expensive, this stuff will be a small price to pay compared to the cancer, COPD, and other costs of long term smoking.

Anonymous, the strange dreams have to do with the fact that the brain cells that respond to nicotine are most active when you're in REM (dreaming) sleep. This stuff obviously works on those neurons. So your dreams might get stranger.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Cynthia said...

How much does Chantix cost ? and will my insurance cover it ? I am 35 years old and suffer from emphysema. This is hopefully what I and many others have been waiting for. Thank you. Cynthia.

10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw website giving info about chantix Check Out this website

I think currently chantix is not available online but this website says soon they will be providing chantix online with valid medical prescription.

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't buy it from the website above. That's not the official Chantix website. the official one is you can verify the link from the pfizer website too. I don't know the exact cost yet as it is not available on the market yet.

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually it is available now. According to my doc, it's about the cost of a pack of cigarettes per day and the first round is 30 days; so I guess we're looking at about $150 for a month (depending on what cigs cost in your area, that is). Going to pick my Rx up today !!!!

3:26 AM  
Anonymous Horsegal said...

I have tried several methods to quit. 49 and smoked a pack a day on and off since I was about 16. I tried Wellbutrin, hypnosis, acupuncture, acupressure, the patch, the lozenge, the inhaler, cold turkey, nicotine gum. Longest I ever lasted was 3 months when I had the lower lobe left lung removed about 9 years ago due to a massive fibroid tumor. I have CIGNA insurance through ExxonMobil. The cost for Wellbutrin which I have been on a few weeks (and is not helping) on my insurance was still around $100.
CIGNA/ExxonMobil will not cover
Chantix. The 12 week supply is $334 and a special order from Walgreens. My husband, a very anti non-smoker has been begging me to quit for yeats and has willingly picked up the cost no matter what. So I get my script next week...I will come back and post when I see how it helps. I handle a very stressful job and supporting a total of 4 households (ours, 2 daughters/grandkids and a mominlaw) so smoking has always been my stress relief. It's like saying goodbye to an old friend who wants to murder me!

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I spent 21 years on active duty in the US Air Force. I somehow managed to quit smoking in 1997 during the most stressful year of my entire life (divorce, alcohol rehab, taken off the job for 11 months, bankruptcy). Not smoking lasted for 7 years until I was held in an Arab country on a diplomatic issue & was informed that I may have to go to jail. Thirty three days later, I was allowed to leave the country. During my stay, I began smoking lightly & it developed to full-fledged, nearly a pack a day smoking. Recently, my doc gave me a 3-week sample to get me started & a scrip for 6 months (I'm heading overseas again soon). The mail order pharmacy called today to tell me that my insurer, Tricare (military healthcare) would not cover the medicine & I'd have to pay full price. How's that for taking care of America's veterans?

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I started Chantix two weeks and two days ago. I have been off cigaretts now for 2 days. I smoked 2 packs a day for 44 years and have tried every other means you can think of to stop smoking. I did stop once for 30 days after taking Zyban. I'm hoping Chantix does the trick. I still get cravings but they are truly mild and last only a few minutes.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some Chantix news tells that patients treated with Chantix were also more successful in giving up smoking than patients treated with Zyban.

6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CVS Pharmacy is charging 124.00 for a month supply. State insurance company denied paying for this medication.. going to start on medication Friday. Will let you all know how it is going.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Internet websites are giving info about how to buy chantixtablets

6:49 PM  
Blogger sanura said...

Even Walmart sells Chantix tablets, but you should have a prescription.

11:14 PM  
Blogger ebayfool said...

I got prescription the other day and filled it yesterday. Costco quoted me $100.33 for first month's worth and Walmart (who quoted me $118.00 to begin with) price-matched and gave it to me for Costco price. But do your homework before you ask Walmart or anyone else to do that kind of favor. Whether insurance covers it or not, is cheaper than smoking. Wish me luck!

1:12 PM  
Blogger John R. Polito said...

Thanks for this piece Doc. I've written a critical analysis of Pfizer's five Chantix studies at the following link entitled "Will Chantix really help me quit smoking?".

The bottom line is that the Chantix studies were mess and the rather impressive 1 in 5 one-year quitting rate (22%) reflected by the three comparable studies (1mg of varenicline twice daily for 12 weeks) will likely never be seen in real-world patient use.

Pfizer created one of the most intense quitting experiences in any smoking cessation study ever, an experience that likely accounted for most of Chantix's 22% one year rate. Two of the least intense studies (Jorenby and Gonzales) involved 26 different one-one-one sessions with each participants Chantix provider (19 clinic visits and 7 telephone calls). Each visit also included brief one-on-one sessions with counselors trained in motivation and coping skills development. Such intense ongoing support kept core quitting motivations vibrant and active far longer and at far higher rates than normal and generated its own independent effectiveness.

How many real-world Chantix users will be provided and attend 26 quitting pep-rallies? Frankly, if 1 in 10 Chantix users are still not smoking at one-year it would be extremely surprising.

John R. Polito
Nicotine Cessation Educator

3:37 AM  

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