A report published today claims that clinical trials will begin next month to see if Pfizer’s stop smoking drug, Chantix, can be an effective treatment for curbing drinking and gambling habits. The drug has been shown to be effective in treating smoking addiction, but has been met with widespread controversy over a possible link to neuropsychiatric events, including suicidal ideation and suicidal action. Dr. Selena Bartlett, who claims that Chantix has reduced alcohol consumption in rates by 50 percent, will be heading up the study.
Although Selena is convinced about the drug’s potential, she has so far found it very difficult to convince others, and that too despite this medication gaining widespread media attention in the US.
After reading several horror stories about the experiences some people have had when mixing Chantix and alcohol I am not convinced either. Many attribute the psychotic episode ending in the tragic shooting death of Dallas musician, Carter Albrecht to effects induced by consuming alcohol while on Chantix. In a recent article published in New York Magazine, Derek de Koff, claims to have held a conversation with a shadow cast by a potted plant when mixing Chantix and alcohol.
Selena says the Chantix trials are one of 10 major projects her lab team will be tackling in an effort to reduce ethanol consumption. While I am not convinced of the efficacy of Chantix as a treatment for alcoholism, this study should cast new light on the effects of mixing Chantix with alcohol.