1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
    PLEASE HELP
  1. Euphoric
    http://www.thestar.com/article/234156

    Single pill could curb smoking, drinking


    Anti-smoking tablet shows promise in curbing boozing
    Jul 10, 2007 04:30 AM
    ANDREW BRIDGES
    Associated Press
    WASHINGTON–Bar-hoppers everywhere discovered long ago that smoking and drinking go hand-in-hand. So, why not a single pill that helps curb the two vices?


    A drug called varenicline may be the answer. The tablets already have been shown to make smoking less rewarding for some. Preliminary work, done in rats, suggests they could do the same for drinking.


    "The biggest thrill is that this drug, which has already proved safe for people trying to stop smoking, is now a potential drug to fight alcohol dependence," said Selena Bartlett, a University of California, San Francisco neuroscientist who led the study. Details appear this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


    Pfizer Inc. developed varenicline specifically as a stop-smoking aid and has sold it in the United States since August under the brand name Chantix.



    Pfizer provided the drug for the new study, but was not otherwise involved in the research.


    Varenicline works by latching onto the same receptors in the brain that nicotine binds to when inhaled in cigarette smoke, an action that leads to the release of dopamine in the brain's pleasure centres. Taking the drug blocks any inhaled nicotine from reinforcing that effect.


    The new study suggests not just nicotine but alcohol also acts on the same locations in the brain. But several experts not involved in the study cautioned there is no such thing as a magic cure-all for addiction and that varenicline and similar drugs may find more immediate use in treating diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.


    Expanding its use as a treatment for alcohol abuse may be the first order of business, though. The University of California researchers, together with the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, are planning the first studies in humans of the drug's effectiveness in curbing alcohol cravings and dependence, Bartlett said. That the drug is already U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved should speed things along.


    In the new study, researchers trained rats to drink alcohol and measured the effect of varenicline once the animals became the lab equivalent of heavy drinkers. They found the drug curbed their drinking. Even when stopped, the rats resumed drinking but didn't binge.

Comments

  1. Euphoric
    And some more:

    http://health.yahoo.com/news/177193;_ylt=AhJa_x_29eEzuybORn4sOi1Lvs8F

    The drug, called varenicline, already is sold to help smokers kick the habit. New but preliminary research suggests it could gain a second use in helping heavy drinkers quit, too.


    Much further down the line, the tablets might be considered as a treatment for addictions to everything from gambling to painkillers, researchers said.


    Several experts not involved in the study cautioned that there is no such thing as a magic cure-all for addiction and that varenicline and similar drugs may find more immediate use in treating diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.


    Pfizer Inc. developed the drug specifically as a stop-smoking aid and has sold it in the United States since August under the brand name Chantix.



    Varenicline works by latching onto the same receptors in the brain that nicotine binds to when inhaled in cigarette smoke, an action that leads to the release of dopamine in the brain's pleasure centers. Taking the drug

    blocks any inhaled nicotine from reinforcing that effect.


    A study published Monday suggests not just nicotine but alcohol also acts on the same locations in the brain. That means a drug like varenicline, which makes smoking less rewarding, could do the same for drinking.



    Preliminary work, done in rats, suggests that is the case.


    "The biggest thrill is that this drug, which has already proved safe for people trying to stop smoking, is now a potential drug to fight alcohol dependence," said Selena Bartlett, a neuroscientist with the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center at the University of California, San Francisco who led the study. Details appear this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


    Pfizer provided the drug for the study, but was not otherwise involved in the research.


    More often than not, smoking and drinking go together — an observation pub-goers have made for hundreds of years. That a single drug could work to curb both addictions isn't a given — nor is it surprising, said Christopher de Fiebre, an associate professor of pharmacology and neuroscience at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth.


    "This is an extremely important paper and hopefully it will convince the major funding agencies that they need to examine the interactions between nicotine and alcohol to a greater extent than they have done to date," said

    de Fiebre, who was not connected with the study.


    In fact, the California researchers, together with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, are now planning the first studies in humans of the drug's effectiveness in curbing alcohol cravings and dependence, Bartlett said. That the drug is already Food and Drug Administration-approved should speed things along.


    "This is a drug that people are actually using. That's not trivial — not at all," said Mark Egli, co-leader of the medications development program at the NIAAA, part of the National Institutes of Health. "There is plenty of animal research that looks pretty cool but there is no way those drugs are ever going to be used by human beings."


    In the new study, researchers trained rats to drink alcohol and measured the effect of varenicline once the animals became the laboratory equivalent of heavy drinkers. They found the drug curbed their drinking. Even when stopped, the animals resumed drinking but didn't binge.


    Just as varenicline doesn't work for all smokers, it's highly unlikely it would for all drinkers.


    "Is this going to be a cure-all? No, not for smoking or alcoholism because both diseases are more complicated than a single target or single genetic issue," said Allan Collins, a professor of pharmacology at the University of Colorado who was not connected to the study.


    Still, Collins, who's worked on the topic for decades, called the drug's potential use in treating alcoholism a "no-brainer." And Egli said it supports the emerging view that there is a common biological basis for addictions to both alcohol and tobacco.


    As for Pfizer, the New York company has yet to decide whether to seek broader FDA approval for the drug, a spokesman said.


    "Without having considerable more data on this it would be very difficult for us to say we might pursue it or not. It's almost a wait-and-see," said Pfizer's Stephen Lederer.
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!