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Physician and pharmacist care of varenicline users in a real-world setting


Frandsen, M and Ferguson, SG, Physician and pharmacist care of varenicline users in a real-world setting, Journal of Smoking Cessation, 8, (1) pp. 11-16. ISSN 1834-2612 (2013) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2013 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1017/jsc.2013.2


Since its launch as a smoking cessation aid, varenicline use has been linked to a number of serious adverse events, notably the exacerbation of pre-existing psychiatric illness, depressed mood and suicidal ideation. Regulators’ fears have been somewhat allayed by varenicline’s status as a prescription only medication. The purpose of this study was to examine the care provided by physicians – or general practitioners – and pharmacists to varenicline users under real-world conditions. Participants were 141 patients who had filled a prescription for varenicline at a participating pharmacy within the previous six-months. Identified patients were mailed a survey to complete that included items on interactions with their physician and pharmacy staff, and knowledge of treatment side-effects. Most participants reported that their physician encouraged them to set a quit date (82.5%) and provided additional cessation materials (57.2%). While most (79.0%) physicians discussed whether varenicline was appropriate for the patient, fewer asked about psychiatric illness (40.1%), or asked to be informed about mood or behaviour change during treatment (48.1%). Participants (78.4%) reported that their physician had discussed a follow-up consultation, but only 59.4% of patients who had finished treatment at the time of the survey reported having one. Most reported discussing potential drug side-effects with their physician (71.0%) and or pharmacist (52.9%); when probed, knowledge was variable. These results suggest that many patients do not receive the level of support that physicians and pharmacists are assumed to provide.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:smoking cessation, varenicline, physician care, pharmacist, treatment
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences
Research Field:Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Frandsen, M (Dr Mai Frandsen)
UTAS Author:Ferguson, SG (Professor Stuart Ferguson)
ID Code:82680
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:Pharmacy
Deposited On:2013-02-12
Last Modified:2014-05-13
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