Varenicline for tobacco dependence

N Engl J Med. 2008 Nov 6;359(19):2018-24. doi: 10.1056/NEJMct0800146.


A 57-year-old man with a 60-pack-year history visits his primary care provider because he wants to quit smoking. He has a history of stable coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, and hypertension. He also has severe obstructive lung disease (forced expiratory volume in 1 second, 39% of the predicted value) with a progressive increase in dyspnea. He has quit smoking and has had numerous relapses; the longest duration of abstinence from smoking was 7 months. Each relapse involved casual smoking to “test himself.” During previous attempts to quit, he has used a nicotine patch, a nicotine inhaler, and sustained-release bupropion. He feels motivated to quit smoking because he recently heard about a new medication to aid in quitting, and he wants to improve his health. The patient and his physician discuss the therapeutic options and agree that varenicline (Chantix) may be an option.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Benzazepines / adverse effects
  • Benzazepines / pharmacology
  • Benzazepines / therapeutic use*
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Coronary Artery Disease / complications
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Nicotine / metabolism
  • Nicotinic Agonists / adverse effects
  • Nicotinic Agonists / pharmacology
  • Nicotinic Agonists / therapeutic use*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / complications
  • Quinoxalines / adverse effects
  • Quinoxalines / pharmacology
  • Quinoxalines / therapeutic use*
  • Receptors, Nicotinic / metabolism
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / metabolism
  • Varenicline


  • Benzazepines
  • Nicotinic Agonists
  • Quinoxalines
  • Receptors, Nicotinic
  • Nicotine
  • Varenicline