Researchers now believe there’s no strong evidence that the drug varenicline, marketed as the tobacco-quitting Champix in Australia and New Zealand, comes with an increased risk of suicidal behaviour, depression, psychoses and violence.
Researchers say previous reports of a link to increased risk of suicidal behaviour or traffic accidents may not have taken full account of underlying factors.
The latest study, in the British journal BMJ, followed the health and livelihood of 69,000 people in Sweden who were prescribed varenicline between 2006 and 2009.
Researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the University of Oxford found a small increased risk of mood and anxiety conditions in people with pre-existing psychiatric disorders.
The authors state their results “provide no evidence for a causal association between varenicline and criminal offending, transport accidents, traffic offences or psychoses”.
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