New drug helps smokers quit5th December 2006
A new drug, aimed at helping smokers to quit, has been made available in the UK.
The new treatment called, Varenicline (champix), is the first nicotine-free drug developed specifically to help smokers give up. The drug works by mimicking the effects of nicotine on the body and is thought to work by both reducing the urge to smoke and relieving withdrawal symptoms. The drug is due to be assessed by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) next year.
Varenicline is produced by Pfizer and is unique in that it both stimulates and blocks specific nicotinic receptors in the brain. 44% of smokers who trialled the drug said they had stopped smoking after 12 weeks. The only known side-effect of the drug is said to be nausea but patients are being advised to report any side effects as the treatment is so new.
The drug, which costs just under £2 per day, is likely to be in heavy demand next year when the ban on smoking in public places in England comes into force in July.
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Title: New drug helps smokers quit
Author: Martine Hamilton
Article Id: 1409
Date Added: 5th Dec 2006