CHANTIX- varenicline tartrate tablet, film coated
CHANTIX- varenicline tartrate
Pfizer Labs, Division of Pfizer Inc.
CHANTIX is indicated for use as an aid to smoking cessation treatment.
Smoking cessation therapies are more likely to succeed for patients who are motivated to stop smoking and who are provided additional advice and support. Provide patients with appropriate educational materials and counseling to support the quit attempt.
The patient should set a date to stop smoking. Begin CHANTIX dosing one week before this date. Alternatively, the patient can begin CHANTIX dosing and then quit smoking between days 8 and 35 of treatment.
CHANTIX should be taken orally after eating and with a full glass of water.
The recommended dose of CHANTIX is 1 mg twice daily following a 1-week titration as follows:
|Days 1 – 3:||0.5 mg once daily|
|Days 4 – 7:||0.5 mg twice daily|
|Day 8 – end of treatment:||1 mg twice daily|
Patients should be treated with CHANTIX for 12 weeks. For patients who have successfully stopped smoking at the end of 12 weeks, an additional course of 12 weeks treatment with CHANTIX is recommended to further increase the likelihood of long-term abstinence.
For patients who are sure that they are not able or willing to quit abruptly, consider a gradual approach to quitting smoking with CHANTIX. Patients should begin CHANTIX dosing and reduce smoking by 50% from baseline within the first four weeks, by an additional 50% in the next four weeks, and continue reducing with the goal of reaching complete abstinence by 12 weeks. Continue CHANTIX treatment for an additional 12 weeks, for a total of 24 weeks of treatment. Encourage patients to attempt quitting sooner if they feel ready [see Clinical Studies (14.5)].
Patients who are motivated to quit, and who did not succeed in stopping smoking during prior CHANTIX therapy for reasons other than intolerability due to adverse events or who relapsed after treatment, should be encouraged to make another attempt with CHANTIX once factors contributing to the failed attempt have been identified and addressed.
Consider a temporary or permanent dose reduction in patients who cannot tolerate the adverse effects of CHANTIX.
Patients with Impaired Renal Function
No dosage adjustment is necessary for patients with mild to moderate renal impairment. For patients with severe renal impairment (estimated creatinine clearance less than 30 mL per min), the recommended starting dose of CHANTIX is 0.5 mg once daily. The dose may then be titrated as needed to a maximum dose of 0.5 mg twice daily. For patients with end-stage renal disease undergoing hemodialysis, a maximum dose of 0.5 mg once daily may be administered if tolerated [see Use in Specific Populations (8.6), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
Elderly and Patients with Impaired Hepatic Function
No dosage adjustment is necessary for patients with hepatic impairment. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5)].
Capsular, biconvex tablets: 0.5 mg (white to off-white, debossed with “Pfizer ” on one side and “CHX 0.5” on the other side) and 1 mg (light blue, debossed with “Pfizer ” on one side and “CHX 1.0” on the other side).
CHANTIX is contraindicated in patients with a known history of serious hypersensitivity reactions or skin reactions to CHANTIX.
Serious neuropsychiatric adverse events have been reported in patients being treated with CHANTIX [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)]. These postmarketing reports have included changes in mood (including depression and mania), psychosis, hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, homicidal ideation, aggression, hostility, agitation, anxiety, and panic, as well as suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, and completed suicide. Some patients who stopped smoking may have been experiencing symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, including depressed mood. Depression, rarely including suicidal ideation, has been reported in smokers undergoing a smoking cessation attempt without medication. However, some of these adverse events occurred in patients taking CHANTIX who continued to smoke.
Neuropsychiatric adverse events occurred in patients without and with pre-existing psychiatric disease; some patients experienced worsening of their psychiatric illnesses. Some neuropsychiatric adverse events, including unusual and sometimes aggressive behavior directed to oneself or others, may have been worsened by concomitant use of alcohol [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3), Adverse Reactions (6.2)]. Observe patients for the occurrence of neuropsychiatric adverse events. Advise patients and caregivers that the patient should stop taking CHANTIX and contact a healthcare provider immediately if agitation, depressed mood, or changes in behavior or thinking that are not typical for the patient are observed, or if the patient develops suicidal ideation or suicidal behavior. The healthcare provider should evaluate the severity of the symptoms and the extent to which the patient is benefiting from treatment, and consider options including dose reduction, continued treatment under closer monitoring, or discontinuing treatment. In many postmarketing cases, resolution of symptoms after discontinuation of CHANTIX was reported. However, the symptoms persisted in some cases; therefore, ongoing monitoring and supportive care should be provided until symptoms resolve.
The neuropsychiatric safety of CHANTIX was evaluated in a randomized, double-blind, active and placebo-controlled study that included patients without a history of psychiatric disorder (non-psychiatric cohort, N=3912) and patients with a history of psychiatric disorder (psychiatric cohort, N=4003). In the non-psychiatric cohort, CHANTIX was not associated with an increased incidence of clinically significant neuropsychiatric adverse events in a composite endpoint comprising anxiety, depression, feeling abnormal, hostility, agitation, aggression, delusions, hallucinations, homicidal ideation, mania, panic, and irritability. In the psychiatric cohort, there were more events reported in each treatment group compared to the non-psychiatric cohort, and the incidence of events in the composite endpoint was higher for each of the active treatments compared to placebo: Risk Differences (RDs) (95%CI) vs. placebo were 2.7% (-0.05, 5.4) for CHANTIX, 2.2% (-0.5, 4.9) for bupropion, and 0.4% (-2.2, 3.0) for transdermal nicotine. In the non-psychiatric cohort, neuropsychiatric adverse events of a serious nature were reported in 0.1% of CHANTIX-treated patients and 0.4% of placebo-treated patients. In the psychiatric cohort, neuropsychiatric events of a serious nature were reported in 0.6% of CHANTIX-treated patients, with 0.5% involving psychiatric hospitalization. In placebo-treated patients, serious neuropsychiatric events occurred in 0.6%, with 0.2% requiring psychiatric hospitalization [see Clinical Studies (14.10)].
During clinical trials and the postmarketing experience, there have been reports of seizures in patients treated with CHANTIX. Some patients had no history of seizures, whereas others had a history of seizure disorder that was remote or well-controlled. In most cases, the seizure occurred within the first month of therapy. Weigh this potential risk against the potential benefits before prescribing CHANTIX in patients with a history of seizures or other factors that can lower the seizure threshold. Advise patients to discontinue CHANTIX and contact a healthcare provider immediately if they experience a seizure while on treatment [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)].
There have been postmarketing reports of patients experiencing increased intoxicating effects of alcohol while taking CHANTIX. Some cases described unusual and sometimes aggressive behavior, and were often accompanied by amnesia for the events. Advise patients to reduce the amount of alcohol they consume while taking CHANTIX until they know whether CHANTIX affects their tolerance for alcohol [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)].
There have been postmarketing reports of traffic accidents, near-miss incidents in traffic, or other accidental injuries in patients taking CHANTIX. In some cases, the patients reported somnolence, dizziness, loss of consciousness or difficulty concentrating that resulted in impairment, or concern about potential impairment, in driving or operating machinery. Advise patients to use caution driving or operating machinery or engaging in other potentially hazardous activities until they know how CHANTIX may affect them.
A comprehensive evaluation of cardiovascular (CV) risk with CHANTIX suggests that patients with underlying CV disease may be at increased risk; however, these concerns must be balanced with the health benefits of smoking cessation. CV risk has been assessed for CHANTIX in randomized controlled trials (RCT) and meta-analyses of RCTs. In a smoking cessation trial in patients with stable CV disease, CV events were infrequent overall; however, nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI) and nonfatal stroke occurred more frequently in patients treated with CHANTIX compared to placebo. All-cause and CV mortality was lower in patients treated with CHANTIX [see Clinical Studies (14.8)]. This study was included in a meta-analysis of 15 CHANTIX efficacy trials in various clinical populations that showed an increased hazard ratio for Major Adverse Cardiovascular Events (MACE) of 1.95; however, the finding was not statistically significant (95% CI: 0.79, 4.82). In the large postmarketing neuropsychiatric safety outcome trial, an analysis of adjudicated MACE events was conducted for patients while in the trial and during a 28-week non-treatment extension period. Few MACE events occurred during the trial; therefore, the findings did not contribute substantively to the understanding of CV risk with CHANTIX. Instruct patients to notify their healthcare providers of new or worsening CV symptoms and to seek immediate medical attention if they experience signs and symptoms of MI or stroke [see Clinical Studies (14.10)].
Cases of somnambulism have been reported in patients taking CHANTIX. Some cases described harmful behavior to self, others, or property. Instruct patients to discontinue CHANTIX and notify their healthcare provider if they experience somnambulism [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)].
There have been postmarketing reports of hypersensitivity reactions including angioedema in patients treated with CHANTIX [see Adverse Reactions (6.2), Patient Counseling Information (17)]. Clinical signs included swelling of the face, mouth (tongue, lips, and gums), extremities, and neck (throat and larynx). There were infrequent reports of life-threatening angioedema requiring emergent medical attention due to respiratory compromise. Instruct patients to discontinue CHANTIX and immediately seek medical care if they experience these symptoms.
There have been postmarketing reports of rare but serious skin reactions, including Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and erythema multiforme, in patients using CHANTIX [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)]. As these skin reactions can be life-threatening, instruct patients to stop taking CHANTIX and contact a healthcare provider immediately at the first appearance of a skin rash with mucosal lesions or any other signs of hypersensitivity.
Nausea was the most common adverse reaction reported with CHANTIX treatment. Nausea was generally described as mild or moderate and often transient; however, for some patients, it was persistent over several months. The incidence of nausea was dose-dependent. Initial dose-titration was beneficial in reducing the occurrence of nausea. For patients treated to the maximum recommended dose of 1 mg twice daily following initial dosage titration, the incidence of nausea was 30% compared with 10% in patients taking a comparable placebo regimen. In patients taking CHANTIX 0.5 mg twice daily following initial titration, the incidence was 16% compared with 11% for placebo. Approximately 3% of patients treated with CHANTIX 1 mg twice daily in studies involving 12 weeks of treatment discontinued treatment prematurely because of nausea. For patients with intolerable nausea, a dose reduction should be considered.
The following serious adverse reactions were reported in postmarketing experience and are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the labeling:
- Neuropsychiatric Adverse Events including Suicidality [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]
- Seizures [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]
- Interaction with Alcohol [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]
- Accidental Injury [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]
- Cardiovascular Events [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)]
- Somnambulism [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)]
- Angioedema and Hypersensitivity Reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)]
- Serious Skin Reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)]
In the placebo-controlled premarketing studies, the most common adverse events associated with CHANTIX (>5% and twice the rate seen in placebo-treated patients) were nausea, abnormal (vivid, unusual, or strange) dreams, constipation, flatulence, and vomiting.
The treatment discontinuation rate due to adverse events in patients dosed with 1 mg twice daily was 12% for CHANTIX, compared to 10% for placebo in studies of three months’ treatment. In this group, the discontinuation rates that are higher than placebo for the most common adverse events in CHANTIX-treated patients were as follows: nausea (3% vs. 0.5% for placebo), insomnia (1.2% vs. 1.1% for placebo), and abnormal dreams (0.3% vs. 0.2% for placebo).
Smoking cessation, with or without treatment, is associated with nicotine withdrawal symptoms and has also been associated with the exacerbation of underlying psychiatric illness.
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, the adverse reactions rates observed in the clinical studies of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice.
During the premarketing development of CHANTIX, over 4500 subjects were exposed to CHANTIX, with over 450 treated for at least 24 weeks and approximately 100 for a year. Most study participants were treated for 12 weeks or less.
The most common adverse event associated with CHANTIX treatment is nausea, occurring in 30% of patients treated at the recommended dose, compared with 10% in patients taking a comparable placebo regimen [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)].
Table 1 shows the adverse events for CHANTIX and placebo in the 12- week fixed dose premarketing studies with titration in the first week [Studies 2 (titrated arm only), 4, and 5]. Adverse events were categorized using the Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities (MedDRA, Version 7.1).
MedDRA High Level Group Terms (HLGT) reported in ≥5% of patients in the CHANTIX 1 mg twice daily dose group, and more commonly than in the placebo group, are listed, along with subordinate Preferred Terms (PT) reported in ≥1% of CHANTIX patients (and at least 0.5% more frequent than placebo). Closely related Preferred Terms such as ‘Insomnia’, ‘Initial insomnia’, ‘Middle insomnia’, ‘Early morning awakening’ were grouped, but individual patients reporting two or more grouped events are only counted once.
|SYSTEM ORGAN CLASSHigh Level Group Term||CHANTIX0.5 mg BID||CHANTIX1 mg BID||Placebo|
|GI Signs and Symptoms|
|Abdominal Pain *||5||7||5|
|GI Motility/Defecation Conditions|
|Gastroesophageal reflux disease||1||1||0|
|Salivary Gland Conditions|
|Neurological Disorders NEC|
|General Disorders NEC|
|Respiratory Disorders NEC|
|Upper Respiratory Tract Disorder||7||5||4|
|Epidermal and Dermal Conditions|
|METABOLISM and NUTRITION|
|Appetite/General Nutrition Disorders|
The overall pattern and frequency of adverse events during the longer-term premarketing trials was similar to those described in Table 1, though several of the most common events were reported by a greater proportion of patients with long-term use (e.g., nausea was reported in 40% of patients treated with CHANTIX 1 mg twice daily in a one year study, compared to 8% of placebo-treated patients).
Following is a list of treatment-emergent adverse events reported by patients treated with CHANTIX during all premarketing clinical trials and updated based on pooled data from 18 placebo-controlled pre- and postmarketing studies, including approximately 5,000 patients treated with varenicline. Adverse events were categorized using MedDRA, Version 16.0. The listing does not include those events already listed in the previous tables or elsewhere in labeling, those events for which a drug cause was remote, those events which were so general as to be uninformative, and those events reported only once which did not have a substantial probability of being acutely life-threatening.
Blood and Lymphatic System Disorders. Infrequent: anemia, lymphadenopathy. Rare: leukocytosis, splenomegaly, thrombocytopenia.
Cardiac Disorders. Infrequent: angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, palpitations, tachycardia. Rare: acute coronary syndrome, arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, bradycardia, cardiac flutter, cor pulmonale, coronary artery disease, ventricular extrasystoles.
Ear and Labyrinth Disorders. Infrequent: tinnitus, vertigo. Rare: deafness, Meniere’s disease.
Endocrine Disorders. Infrequent: thyroid gland disorders.
Eye Disorders. Infrequent: conjunctivitis, eye irritation, eye pain, vision blurred, visual impairment. Rare: blindness transient, cataract subcapsular, dry eye, night blindness, ocular vascular disorder, photophobia, vitreous floaters.
Gastrointestinal Disorders. Frequent: diarrhea, toothache. Infrequent: dysphagia, eructation, gastritis, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, mouth ulceration. Rare: enterocolitis, esophagitis, gastric ulcer, intestinal obstruction, pancreatitis acute.
General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions. Frequent: chest pain. Infrequent: chest discomfort, chills, edema, influenza-like illness, pyrexia.
Hepatobiliary Disorders. Rare: gall bladder disorder.
Investigations. Frequent: liver function test abnormal, weight increased. Infrequent: electrocardiogram abnormal. Rare: muscle enzyme increased, urine analysis abnormal.
Metabolism and Nutrition Disorders. Infrequent: diabetes mellitus, hypoglycemia. Rare: hyperlipidemia, hypokalemia.
Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue Disorders. Frequent: arthralgia, back pain, myalgia. Infrequent: arthritis, muscle cramp, musculoskeletal pain. Rare: myositis, osteoporosis.
Nervous System Disorders. Frequent: disturbance in attention, dizziness. Infrequent: amnesia, convulsion, migraine, parosmia, syncope, tremor. Rare: balance disorder, cerebrovascular accident, dysarthria, mental impairment, multiple sclerosis, VIIth nerve paralysis, nystagmus, psychomotor hyperactivity, psychomotor skills impaired, restless legs syndrome, sensory disturbance, transient ischemic attack, visual field defect.
Psychiatric Disorders. Infrequent: dissociation, libido decreased, mood swings, thinking abnormal. Rare: bradyphrenia, disorientation, euphoric mood.
Renal and Urinary Disorders. Infrequent: nocturia, pollakiuria, urine abnormality. Rare: nephrolithiasis, polyuria, renal failure acute, urethral syndrome, urinary retention.
Reproductive System and Breast Disorders. Frequent: menstrual disorder. Infrequent: erectile dysfunction. Rare: sexual dysfunction.
Respiratory, Thoracic and Mediastinal Disorders. Frequent: respiratory disorders. Infrequent: asthma, epistaxis, rhinitis allergic, upper respiratory tract inflammation. Rare: pleurisy, pulmonary embolism.
Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders. Infrequent: acne, dry skin, eczema, erythema, hyperhidrosis, urticaria. Rare: photosensitivity reaction, psoriasis.
Vascular Disorders. Infrequent: hot flush. Rare: thrombosis.
CHANTIX has also been studied in postmarketing trials including (1) a trial conducted in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), (2) a trial conducted in generally healthy patients (similar to those in the premarketing studies) in which they were allowed to select a quit date between days 8 and 35 of treatment (“alternative quit date instruction trial”), (3) a trial conducted in patients who did not succeed in stopping smoking during prior CHANTIX therapy, or who relapsed after treatment (“re-treatment trial”), (4) a trial conducted in patients with stable cardiovascular disease, (5) a trial conducted in patients with stable schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, (6) a trial conducted in patients with major depressive disorder, (7) a postmarketing neuropsychiatric safety outcome trial in patients without or with a history of psychiatric disorder, (8) a non-treatment extension of the postmarketing neuropsychiatric safety outcome trial that assessed CV safety, (9) a trial in patients who were not able or willing to quit abruptly and who were instructed to quit gradually (“gradual approach to quitting smoking trial”).
Adverse events in the trial of patients with COPD (1), in the alternative quit date instruction trial (2), and in the gradual approach to quitting smoking trial (9) were similar to those observed in premarketing studies. In the re-treatment trial (3), the profile of common adverse events was similar to that previously reported, but, in addition, varenicline-treated patients also commonly reported diarrhea (6% vs. 4% in placebo-treated patients), depressed mood disorders and disturbances (6% vs. 1%), and other mood disorders and disturbances (5% vs. 2%).
In the trial of patients with stable cardiovascular disease (4), more types and a greater number of cardiovascular events were reported compared to premarketing studies, as shown in Table 1 and in Table 2 below.
|CHANTIX1 mg BID||Placebo|
|Adverse Events ≥1% in either treatment group|
|Up to 30 days after treatment|
|Adjudicated Cardiovascular Mortality (up to 52 weeks)||0.3||0.6|
|Adjudicated Nonfatal Serious Cardiovascular Events ≥1% in either treatment group|
|Up to 30 days after treatment|
|Hospitalization for angina pectoris||0.6||1.1|
|Beyond 30 days after treatment and up to 52 weeks|
|Need for coronary revascularization *||2.0||0.6|
|Hospitalization for angina pectoris||1.7||1.1|
|New diagnosis of peripheral vascular disease (PVD) or admission for a PVD procedure||1.4||0.6|
In the trial of patients with stable schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (5), 128 smokers on antipsychotic medication were randomized 2:1 to varenicline (1 mg twice daily) or placebo for 12 weeks with 12-week non-drug follow-up. The most common treatment emergent adverse events reported in this trial are shown in Table 3 below.
|CHANTIX1 mg BID||Placebo|
|Adverse Events ≥10% in the varenicline group|
|Psychiatric Adverse Events ≥5% and at a higher rate than in the placebo group|
For the trial of patients with major depressive disorder (6), the most common treatment emergent adverse events reported are shown in Table 4 below. Additionally, in this trial, patients treated with varenicline were more likely than patients treated with placebo to report one of events related to hostility and aggression (3% vs. 1%).
|CHANTIX1 mg BID||Placebo|
|Adverse Events ≥10% in either treatment group|
|Psychiatric Adverse Events ≥2% in any treatment group and not included above|
|Depressed mood disorders and disturbances||11||9|
In the trial of patients without or with a history of psychiatric disorder (7), the most common adverse events in subjects treated with varenicline were similar to those observed in premarketing studies. Most common treatment-emergent adverse events reported in this trial are shown in Table 5 below.
|CHANTIX1 mg BID||Placebo|
|Adverse Events ≥10% in the varenicline group|
|Entire study population, N||1982||1979|
|Psychiatric Adverse Events ≥2% in any treatment group|
|Non-psychiatric cohort, N||975||982|
|Psychiatric cohort, N||1007||997|
In the non-treatment extension of the postmarketing neuropsychiatric safety outcomes trial that assessed CV safety (8), the most common adverse events in subjects treated with varenicline and occurring up to 30 days after last dose of treatment were similar to those observed in premarketing studies.
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