Last updated on April 2019

Varenicline Augmentation of Patch Outcomes in Heavy Drinkers' Smoking Cessation


Brief description of study

The purpose of this study is to learn if the combination of a study drug and patch is more effective in helping heavy drinkers stop smoking than just the patch alone The study drug, varenicline, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help people stop smoking, but it is not known if the addition of varenicline to standard smoking cessation treatment with nicotine patches will help people stop smoking who are regular, frequent drinkers. This study is being done because cigarette smoking is the number one preventable cause of death and disease in the United States.

Detailed Study Description

This study will conduct a real-world clinic-based smoking cessation trial examining the augmentation strategy of Chantix (Varenicline Tartrate), nicotine patch, and behavioral counseling versus standard treatment of patch plus behavioral counseling only in heavy drinkers who smoke (HDS). While Chantix is approved for smoking cessation, it is not routinely given in practice for HDS patients

In this study, there will be 4 total in-person study visits over the trial (pre-quit, quit date, week 2 and week 12), ending 12 weeks after the quit date. Biochemical verification from breath tests for CO, as well as vital signs and weight, will be measured at each visit along with survey responses measuring smoking urge and withdrawal, negative affect, neurocognition, and alcohol and smoking behaviors. These will also be used at a 26-week follow-up by telephone with biochemical verification for CO in those reporting being smoke-free.

Screening and Randomization Participants will respond to advertisements and will undergo a brief phone screening to determine initial eligibility requirements. Qualified candidates will be invited into the lab to conduct a short screening and study information session at the Clinical Addictions Research Laboratory at the University of Chicago. At screening, participants will sign an informed consent document. Next, demographics, smoking, alcohol and substance use patterns, health history, medications, vital signs, a urine test (for pregnancy and/or drug toxicology) and a blood test will be obtained.

Eligible participants will be randomized into one of two treatment groups: Standard Treatment will proceed with the study receiving nicotine patches and brief counseling sessions; Augmented Treatment will proceed with the same nicotine patches and brief counseling sessions, but will also receive standard dosing of Chantix (Varenicline tartrate).

Nicotine Patches Nicotine patches will be utilized starting at study quit date, and proceed according to package insert directions (10+ cigs/day smokers will begin with 21mg patches for six weeks, followed by 14mg patches for four weeks, and finally 7mg patches for two weeks. Those smoking fewer than 10 cigarettes/day will follow the same process starting at the 14mg patch level.

Chantix (Varenicline Tartrate) Those receiving Augmented Treatment will receive varenicline in this effectiveness study. They will undergo an up-titration week prior to the quit date, 12 weeks of target dosing, and a down-titration week. As per Pfizer recommendations, up-titration will be 0.5mg tablets once daily for 3 days followed by twice daily for four days leading to the quit date on day 8. The sequence will reverse for a down-titration week on week 13.

Smoking Cessation Behavioral Sessions:

Participants will attend one-on-one behavioral counseling sessions with a trained Masters or PhD. Level therapist at each study visit. Behavioral sessions will involve teaching behavioral skills to assist with smoking cessation, preventing relapse, and coping with physical or emotional changes associated with cravings. At each study visit, subjective measures (i.e. brief self-report surveys about

Follow-Up Interview (Week 26) At Study Week 26, participants will complete a follow-up telephone interview, completing similar subjective measures as those completed during study visits. Participants reporting being smoke-free during this interview will arrange for biochemical verification of this status via expired CO testing either by arranging for a time to stop into one of the study sites or by arranging for study staff to meet with them in their home or workplace.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02859142

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Clinical Addictions Research Laboratory

Chicago, IL United States
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