Single dose varenicline may trigger epileptic activity

Neurol Sci. 2014 Nov;35(11):1807-12. doi: 10.1007/s10072-014-1845-y. Epub 2014 Jun 7.


Varenicline is a new drug for smoking cessation, and its effect on epilepsy is not clear. The aim of this study was to investigate whether different doses of varenicline cause epileptic activity. Forty rats were randomly assigned to the following eight groups: control, saline, and 0.025, 0.04, 0.1, 0.5, 1, and 2 mg kg(-1) varenicline (single dose, i.p.). EEGs were recorded before the varenicline injection and during the following 240 min. While epileptic discharges were observed on the EEGs of the rats in all of the varenicline-treated groups, motor findings of epileptic seizure were not observed in some rats in these groups except the 1 and 2 mg kg(-1) groups. These findings indicate that different single doses of varenicline cause epileptic activity in rats.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzazepines / administration & dosage
  • Benzazepines / toxicity*
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy / chemically induced*
  • Male
  • Nicotinic Agonists / administration & dosage
  • Nicotinic Agonists / toxicity*
  • Quinoxalines / administration & dosage
  • Quinoxalines / toxicity*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Seizures / chemically induced*
  • Varenicline


  • Benzazepines
  • Nicotinic Agonists
  • Quinoxalines
  • Varenicline