Technical information

Technical Information

Champix (varenicline) is a neuronal nicotinic alpha4beta 2 receptor partial agonist. Put simply, this means that it binds to the nicotine receptors in the brain so that the intake of nicotine is no longer desired and no longer produces a pleasurable response. It has the chemical name 7,8,9,10-tetrahydro-6,10-methano-6H-pyrazino[2,3- h][3]benzazepine, (2R,3R)-2,3-dihydroxybutanedioate (1:1) (phew!)

In two double blind clinical trials involving two thousand patients, patients received either Champix (varencline) (1 mg), Zyban (bupropion 150 mg) or a placebo for a period of 12 weeks. The results can be summarised as follows.

Treatment%age of patients that stopped smoking

In addition, a third study followed just the progress of the patients who had quit smoking. Half the patients received varenicline for a further 12 weeks, the other half received a placebo. These patients were monitored for an additional 28 week period. At the end of the 28 weeks, 71% of the group who had received the additional varenicline were still none smokers, compared to 50% of the group who had subsequently received the placebo.

Did you know?

Champix is manufactured by Pfizer, the multinational drugs firm who discovered the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra and the cholesterol lowering drug Lipitor.

Champix is known as Chantix in the US, but its generic name is varenicline.

The scientist who invented varenicline is an ex-smoker, whose father died from a smoking related illness.

86,500 deaths in England are caused by smoking related diseases every year, which is about 240 deaths per day.

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