Anti-smoking medications may not increase risk of mental health disorders

“This finding of no connection between Wellbutrin and its cousin Chantix and new mental health issues makes sense. Wellbutrin has been used a long time with fewer side effects than originally expected. It is available as a generic a lower costs. If you know a smoker, pass the good word along.” Bill Chesnut, MD

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Anti-smoking medications may not increase risk of mental health disorders

The AP (4/23, Johnson) reported, “Seven years after US regulators slapped their strictest warning on two popular smoking-cessation medicines citing risks of suicidal behavior, a large international study found no such risk.”

According to HealthDay (4/23, Preidt), a new, FDA-requested, 8,000-participant study published online April 22 in The Lancet suggests anti-smoking medications Chantix (varenicline) and Wellbutrin (bupropion) “don’t appear to raise the risk of serious mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.” An accompanying editorial observed the study shows “neuropsychiatric adverse events occurring during smoking cessation are independent of the medication used.”

AMA news _4.25.16