Varenicline (Chantix, Champix) - Because cigarettes are gross and expensive

  • synthetic derivative of the alkaloid cytisine used to treat smoking (nicotine) addiction
  • partial agonist at neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, which means that it acts at the same places that nicotine does in the brain, but with less strength, thus reducing the rewarding effects of nicotine without precipitating withdrawal and hopefully making it easier for people to quit smoking
    • acts primarily at the α4β2 subtype of nicotinic receptors, which are found primarily in the central nervous system
  • side effects are primarily gastrointestinal in nature (NVD, natch) and not severe, although it is has also been reported to cause crazy dreams and insomnia
  • at doses that have been shown to reduce nicotine intake in lab animals, has also been shown to reduce ethanol (the stuff in beer that makes everything nicer) intake in three different animal models for ethanol consumption, making it a prospective treatment for alcohol dependence (alcoholism) as well
    • about 85% of alcoholics smoke, and both nicotine and ethanol can produce reinforcing effects via nicotinic receptors
Steensland P et al. Varenicline, an {alpha}4{beta}2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonist, selectively decreases ethanol consumption and seeking. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Jul 11; [link]

1 chemically inspired comments:

CDC said...

Rice is great if you are really hungry and you want 2000 of something.