Chantix (varenicline) treats alcohol abuse.

This may be true...but it’s too early to know if it really works for alcohol abuse.

Early studies are showing that smokers treated with varenicline seem to consume less alcohol. Varenicline seems to work by decreasing the reward chemicals released by the brain with alcohol and nicotine used. Plus nicotine may increase alcohol cravings, so blocking the effects of nicotine may lessen the desire for alcohol.

Send patients asking about using varenicline for alcohol abuse to the pharmacist. In most cases, people should stick with proven treatments for alcohol abuse...disulfiram, naltrexone (ReVia, etc), and Campral (acamprosate).

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