Supply disruption of Varenicline
Supply disruption of varenicline has been on going since October 2021 because of the presence of nitrosamines above acceptable level of daily intake. There is still no certainty when varenicline will return.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) would seem a reasonable alternative that can offer almost immediate relief of withdrawal symptoms and urges to smoke. NRT is most effective when given in the form of a patch in combination with a faster-acting product such as the nicotine lozenge, nasal spray or mouth spray.
The National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (NCSCT) briefing outlines strong evidence that combination NRT (combining a patch with a faster acting product) is more effective in helping smokers quit than using just one form of NRT. Combination NRT has been found to result in long-term quit rates that are comparable to those achieved with varenicline. Combination NRT and varenicline are the two most effective stop smoking medications.
You can access the fully updated NCSCT briefing on combination NRT including the latest research evidence and clinical good practice online and download a copy.
Some clients may choose to try vaping (either alone or in combination with NRT) as an alternative to varenicline and if this is the case, they should be encouraged to see this as supportive of their attempt to maintain abstinence.
PCRS have a tobacco dependency pragmatic guide, which is a practical, immediately implementable, evidence-based framework to enable healthcare professionals to routinely identify smokers, encourage a quit attempt and support that quit attempt within the real-world context of their own professional sphere. Guide.
Read PCRS' position statement on the use of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid.