NPC Archive Item: Varenicline▼ safety update

NOTE – This is an archive post from the NPC and has not been updated since first publication. Therefore, some hyperlinks may no longer be working.
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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

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