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Varenicline plus healthy lifestyle intervention for smoking cessation in psychotic disorders

David Castle, MSc, MD, FRCPsych, FRANZCP

Chair of Psychiatry, St. Vincent’s Hospital and The University of Melbourne, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia

Amanda L. Baker, BA (Hons), MPsychol, PhD

National Health and Medical Research Council Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Brain and Mental Health Research, University of Newcastle Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Robyn Richmond, PhD, MA, MHEd

School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Kensington, New South Wales, Australia

Sacha L. Filia, BSc (Hons), PhD candidate

Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, Monash University, Prahran, Victoria, Australia

Diane Harris, BApplSci

Clarendon Community Mental Health, St. Vincent’s Health, East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Andrew J. Pirola-Merlo, BSc (Hons), PhD

Adjunct Associate Professor, Faculty of Business and Economics, Monash University, Caulfield, Victoria, Australia

BACKGROUND: We were interested in exploring the efficacy and safety of varenicline as an adjunct to a healthy lifestyle intervention for smoking cessation among individuals with a severe mental illness.

METHODS: We used varenicline as an adjunct to a healthy lifestyle intervention in 14 smokers with a psychotic illness.

RESULTS: Overall, smoking cessation rates were 36% at 3 months and 42% at 6 months. The most commonly reported side effects were sleep disturbance and nausea. These tended to occur early in treatment, and patients responded to general measures of support and reassurance. Of the 14 participants, 1 dropped out because of psychiatric problems and 2 because of other side effects.

CONCLUSIONS: Varenicline appears to be an effective adjunct to a healthy lifestyle intervention for smokers with a psychotic illness. Although the results of this open study are encouraging, replication in an adequately powered, randomized controlled trial is required before definitive conclusions can be drawn.

KEYWORDS: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, smoking cessation, cognitive-behavioral therapy, varenicline

ANNALS OF CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY 2012;24(4):285-291

CORRESPONDENCE: David Castle, MSc, MD, FRCPsych, FRANZCP, Chair of Psychiatry, St. Vincent’s Hospital and The University of Melbourne, 46 Nicholson Street, Fitzroy, Victoria 3065 Australia E-MAIL: david.castle@svhm.org.au
Annals of Clinical Psychiatry ©2012 Frontline Medical Communications.

 
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