DESCRIPTION CHANTIX® tablets contain the active ingredient, varenicline (as the tartrate salt), which is a partial agonist selective for α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes. Varenicline, as the tartrate salt, is a powder which is a white to off-white to slightly yellow solid with the following chemical name: 7,8,9,10-tetrahydro-6,10-methano-6H-pyrazino[2,3h]benzazepine, (2R,3R)-2,3-dihydroxybutanedioate (1:1). It is highly soluble in water. Varenicline tartrate has a molecular weight of 361.35 Daltons, and a molecular formula of C13H13N3 • C4H6O6. The chemical structure is: OH HO OC
OH COO H2 N
CHANTIX is supplied for oral administration in two strengths: a 0.5 mg capsular biconvex, white to off-white, film-coated tablet debossed with "Pfizer" on one side and "CHX 0.5" on the other side and a 1 mg capsular biconvex, light blue film-coated tablet debossed with "Pfizer" on one side and "CHX 1.0" on the other side. Each 0.5 mg CHANTIX tablet contains 0.85 mg of varenicline tartrate equivalent to 0.5 mg of varenicline free base; each 1mg CHANTIX tablet contains 1.71 mg of varenicline tartrate equivalent to 1 mg of varenicline free base. The following inactive ingredients are included in the tablets: microcrystalline cellulose, anhydrous dibasic calcium phosphate, croscarmellose sodium, colloidal silicon dioxide, magnesium stearate, Opadry® White (for 0.5 mg), Opadry® Blue (for 1 mg), and Opadry® Clear.
CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY Mechanism Of Action Varenicline binds with high affinity and selectivity at α4β2 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. The efficacy of CHANTIX in smoking cessation is believed to be the result of varenicline’s activity at a sub-type of the nicotinic receptor where its binding produces agonist activity, while simultaneously preventing nicotine binding to α4β2 receptors. Electrophysiology studies in vitro and neurochemical studies in vivo have shown that varenicline binds to α4β2 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and stimulates receptor-mediated activity, but at a significantly lower level than nicotine. Varenicline blocks the ability of nicotine to activate α4β2 receptors and thus to stimulate the central nervous mesolimbic dopamine system, believed to be the neuronal mechanism underlying reinforcement and reward experienced upon smoking. Varenicline is highly selective and binds more potently to α4β2 receptors than to other common nicotinic receptors (>500-fold α3β4, >3500-fold α7, >20,000-fold α1βγδ), or to nonnicotinic receptors and transporters (>2000-fold). Varenicline also binds with moderate affinity (Ki = 350 nM) to the 5-HT3 receptor.
Pharmacokinetics Absorption/Distribution Maximum plasma concentrations of varenicline occur typically within 3-4 hours after oral administration. Following administration of multiple oral doses of varenicline, steady-state conditions were reached within 4 days. Over the recommended dosing range, varenicline exhibits linear pharmacokinetics after single or repeated doses. In a mass balance study, absorption of varenicline was virtually complete after oral administration and systemic availability was high. Oral bioavailability of varenicline is unaffected by food or time-of-day dosing. Plasma protein binding of varenicline is low (≤20%) and independent of both age and renal function. Metabolism/Elimination The elimination half-life of varenicline is approximately 24 hours. Varenicline undergoes minimal metabolism with 92% excreted unchanged in the urine. Renal elimination of varenicline is primarily through glomerular filtration along with active tubular secretion possibly via the organic cation transporter, OCT2. Pharmacokinetics In Special Patient Populations There are no clinically meaningful differences in varenicline pharmacokinetics due to age, race, gender, smoking status, or use of concomitant medications, as demonstrated in specific pharmacokinetic studies and in...