The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has announced an update to the product information for varenicline (Champix® ▼) highlighting concerns over suicidal thoughts and behaviour.
Following a European review in conjunction with the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) it has been recommended that:
Clinicians should already be aware of the risk of using varenicline in patients who have an underlying mental illness.
Clinicians should advise patients who are trying to stop smoking that they can develop symptoms of depression.
Patients who develop suicidal thoughts while taking varenicline should stop their treatment and contact their doctor immediately.
Action: Clinicians should avoid using varenicline in patients with underlying mental illness. Patients who are prescribed varenicline should be advised as recommended above.
This article is based on a blog by Matt Robinson and can be accessed at http://www.prescriber.org.uk/