Varenicline versus bupropion SR or placebo for smoking cessation: a pooled analysis

Am J Health Behav. 2008 Nov-Dec;32(6):664-75. doi: 10.5555/ajhb.2008.32.6.664.


Objectives: To evaluate varenicline's efficacy for smoking cessation versus bupropion SR and placebo and to explore whether factors typically predictive of abstinence influence varenicline's efficacy versus placebo, as measured by the week 9-12 continuous abstinence rate (CAR9-12).

Methods: Smokers in 2 randomized, placebo-controlled trials received varenicline 1 mg BID (n=696), bupropion SR 150 mg BID (n=671), or placebo (n=685) for 12 weeks. Nontreatment followup lasted 40 weeks.

Results: CAR(9-12) was greater for varenicline (44.0%) versus bupropion SR (29.7%; P<0.0001) and placebo (17.7%; P<0.0001). CAR(9-12) for varenicline versus placebo was not affected by age, gender, or nicotine dependence level.

Conclusions: Varenicline was more efficacious than bupropion SR or placebo. Varenicline's efficacy versus placebo was not influenced by factors predictive of abstinence.

Trial registration: NCT00141206 NCT00143364.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation / therapeutic use*
  • Benzazepines / therapeutic use*
  • Bupropion / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Quinoxalines / therapeutic use*
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Varenicline
  • Young Adult


  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation
  • Benzazepines
  • Quinoxalines
  • Bupropion
  • Varenicline

Associated data