Varenicline helped smokers with stable major depression quit smoking without exacerbating depression or anxiety, reported researchers of a phase 4 trial conducted in 8 countries (Anthenelli RM et al. Ann Intern Med. 2013;159:390-400). The trial was funded by Pfizer.
Some previous trials assessing varenicline for smoking cessation excluded participants with psychiatric diseases. Depression increases nicotine dependence and severity of nicotine withdrawal symptoms, and about half of smokers who want to quit have a history of depression.
Slomski A. Depression Remains Stable in Smokers Taking Varenicline to Quit. JAMA. 2013;310(16):1665. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.281200