Suicidal Ideation and Varenicline: A Possible Case of Mistaken Adverse Drug Reaction?

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Sir: Varenicline, an a4ß2 nicotinic acetylcholine partial agonist, has been licensed in the United Kingdom (and approved in the United States) for the treatment of tobacco dependence since 2006. Studies have shown varenicline to result in higher smoking cessation rates over placebo, bupropion, and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). In the one study conducted to date, varenicline was also seen to be effective in smokers with mental illness, there being no evidence of excess adverse events or exacerbation of preexisting conditions.​

J Clin Psychiatry 2008;69(11):1834-1835