Varenicline Combo, Extension No Better for Quitting Smoking

woman smoking cigarette
Combining varenicline with nicotine patch, extending treatment from 12 to 24 weeks did not increase smoking cessation rates

HealthDay News — For adults smoking 5 cigarettes/day or more, smoking cessation rates do not differ for those treated with varenicline plus nicotine patch therapy compared with varenicline alone or for those treated with extended duration vs standard duration therapy, according to a study published in the October 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Timothy B. Baker, PhD, from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and colleagues compared combinations of varenicline plus the nicotine or placebo patch used for 12 weeks (standard duration) or 24 weeks (extended duration). A total of 1251 adults who smoked 5 cigarettes/day or more were randomly assigned to varenicline monotherapy for 12 weeks, varenicline plus nicotine patch for 12 weeks, varenicline monotherapy for 24 weeks, or varenicline plus nicotine patch for 24 weeks (315, 314, 311, and 311 participants, respectively).

The researchers found that for the primary outcome of carbon monoxide-confirmed self-reported seven-day point prevalence abstinence at 52 weeks following the target quit day, there was no significant interaction between the two treatment factors of medication type and medication duration (odds ratio, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.91 to 1.17; P =.66). The primary outcome occurred in 24.8 and 24.3% of patients randomly assigned to 24- vs 12-week treatment duration, respectively (odds ratio, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.89 to 1.15), and in 24.3 and 24.8% of those randomly assigned to varenicline combination therapy vs monotherapy, respectively (odds ratio, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.87 to 1.12).

“No subgroup of participants was identified for whom the effectiveness of the different treatments varied significantly,” the authors write.

Pfizer supplied the study with free active and placebo varenicline.

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