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Neuroscience For Kids

Anti-smoking Drug May Have Dangerous Side Effects
nosmoke December 3, 2007

For many people, Chantix (varenicline) is a prescription drug that has helped them stop smoking. The drug works by stimulating receptors in the brain that use the neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. However, there are concerns that the drug may cause severe behavioral and mood changes. In late November 2007, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) started to examine reports that Chantix causes suicidal thoughts, aggressive and erratic behavior and drowsiness.

nosmoke In the meantime, before the reports are completely analyzed, the FDA recommends that people who use Chantix should be monitored for behavior and mood changes and if they notice any behavioral changes, they should contact their doctors.

References and more information:

  1. Chantix Web Site - from the manufacturer, Pfizer. Site includes an animation of how Chantix works in the brain.
  2. Nicotine - Neuroscience for Kids

Copyright © 1996-2007, Eric H. Chudler, University of Washington