The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has announced an update to the product information for varenicline (Champix®) highlighting concerns over suicidal thoughts and behaviour.
Following a European review in conjunction with the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) it has been recommended that:
- Clinicians should already be aware of the risk of using varenicline in patients who have an underlying mental illness
- Clinicians should advise patients who are trying to stop smoking that they can develop symptoms of depression
- Patients who develop suicidal thoughts while taking varenicline should stop their treatment and contact their doctor immediately
Action: Clinicians should avoid using varenicline in patients with underlying mental illness. Patients who are prescribed varenicline should be advised as recommended above.