Varenicline and the risk of neuropsychiatric adverse events and death

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Natasha Clarke publishes her debut Mental Elf blog about a new systematic review and meta-analysis investigating the risk of neuropsychiatric adverse events associated with the smoking cessation drug varenicline.

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Psychosis and schizophrenia in adults: new quality standard from NICE

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Consultant Psychiatrist Samei Huda provides a personal critique of the new NICE quality standard on psychosis and schizophrenia in adults. Read his thoughts and join the discussion!

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Are treatments for borderline personality disorder cost-effective?

Dialectical behaviour therapy was specifically developed to help people with borderline personality disorders

Our resident Elf Economist, Chris Sampson, reports on a new systematic review of economic evaluations for borderline personality disorder. Are any cost-effective?

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Cytisine and varenicline for smoking cessation

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Andrew Jones and Chris Sampson report on a systematic review and economic evaluation of cytisine and varenicline for smoking cessation, which finds that both drugs are clinically effective compared with placebo.

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Adults with mental illness have lower rate of decline in smoking

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It’s well known that individuals with mental illness smoke nearly twice as much as those without a psychiatric disorder (Gfroerer et al, 2013; Lasser et al, 2000), and are more addicted to nicotine, smoke more cigarettes per day, and find it more difficult to quit (Lasser et al, 2000). However, studies have shown that  individuals [read the full story…]

Psychosis and schizophrenia in adults: updated NICE guidance for 2014

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While the organisation’s name may change frequently, currently National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), its role remains constant – to provide clear published guidance on the role of treatment options within the NHS. The publication of new NICE guidance represents a significant event as clinical recommendations shape the nature of provided care nationally [read the full story…]

Extended therapy with varenicline reduces rates of smoking relapse in people with serious mental health issues

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People with serious mental health issues such as schizophrenia have higher rates of cigarette smoking than the general population, with estimates suggesting more than 50% are current smokers. When people in this population do manage to quit during treatment we then see particularly high rates of relapse after treatment ends. A new randomised control trial (Evins [read the full story…]

Combination of treatments may improve smoking cessation

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Smoking is a major cause of morbidity and mortality across the world and accounts for over 60% of deaths in people who do smoke. The World Health Organisation estimates that tobacco kills almost 6 million people per year, with 5 million as a result of direct tobacco use. Innovative treatment approaches aimed at improving smoking [read the full story…]

Do smoking cessation treatments increase the risk of depression and suicide?

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Smoking is a major preventable cause of morbidity and premature mortality throughout the world. There are an estimated 460,000 hospital admissions attributable to smoking in people aged over 35 every year, with an average annual cost to the NHS of £2.7 billion. Many strategies exist to help people give up smoking. The most common are [read the full story…]

Varenicline, smoking cessation and neuropsychiatric adverse events

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Varenicline is a prescription drug to help people stop smoking that works by stimulating the nicotine receptors in the brain to reduce cravings and decrease the pleasure that results from smoking. Quit attempts aided by varenicline are up to 2-3 times more successful than those without (Cahill et al 2009 and 2012). However, following the [read the full story…]