Medical therapies for smoking cessation are limited, and the cardiovascular risk of varenicline is unresolved. This new analysis also increases existing concerns for psychiatric side effects with varenicline from the FDAs adverse event reporting system. Of all smoking cessation therapies (e.g. varenicline, buproprion, or nicotine therapies) 90% of depression/suicidality episodes were associated with varenicline; compared to nicotine replacement, varenicline had 8 times the odds of depression/suicidality. Ongoing concerns of serious side effects may limit the use of varenicline among some smokers (abstract)
Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.