May 12, 2006: Chantix, the latest anti-smoking tablet from Pfizer, has received a go-ahead from the US FDA. Chantix will be brand name for the anti-smoking drug, whose active incredient is called Varenicline.
Chantix has been in phase-III trials till now. This is the last stage before a medicine maker can put out his ware in the market. With the FDA giving approval, Pfizer hopes to put out the no-smoking, twice-daily pill Chantix in shop shelves soon.
The price of Chantix has not been revealed yet. Chantix helps prevent withdrawal symptoms and thereby reduces addiction. It also reduces the pleasure of smoking. Scientifically, Varenicline has been called a
nicotine receptor partial agonist.
Currently, the non-smoking alternatives are nicotine-replacement therapies, sold by prescription like in gum, patch, lozenge, nasal spray or inhaler form. Chantix will be a tablet.
The approved course of treatment with Chantix is 12 weeks. In those patients who have quit smoking, it can be doubled to ensure they remain smoke-free.
A study on 2000 smokers treated with Chantix showed a success ratio which is higher than another no-smoking treatment called Zyban. Pfizer also submitted the results of this study to get clearance for Chantix.
BY OUR PHARMA CORRESPONDENT