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1.  Varenicline as a smoking cessation aid in a Greek population: a subanalysis of an observational study 
Tobacco Induced Diseases  2012;10(1):1.
Greece has the highest proportion of smokers in the European Union with 42% of Greeks admitting that they smoke, based on a 2009 survey. This post-hoc analysis of a prospective, observational study evaluated the effectiveness and safety profile of the smoking cessation aid varenicline, as well as potential predictors of quit success in a Greek population.
Participants were prescribed varenicline according to the recommendations of the European Summary of Product Characteristics (1 mg twice daily). The 7-day point prevalence of abstinence at Week 12 was determined based on verbal reporting using a nicotine use inventory. Abstinence was confirmed by carbon monoxide measurements of exhaled air at the last visit of the study. The safety profile of varenicline was also assessed.
At baseline, the Greek subsample (n = 196) had a mean age of 42.6 years, with 54.6% of them being men. Participants had a smoking history of 23.5 years and a Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence total score of 6.6. After 12 weeks of varenicline therapy, 70.4% (95% CI, 64.0-76.7) of all participants had quit smoking. This increased to 86.2% among participants who had taken the study medication for 80% of the planned number of treatment days. Age was a significant predictor of quit success. The most frequently observed treatment-emergent adverse event was nausea, occurring in 13.3% of participants.
In this 'real-world' observational study, 70.4% of Greek smokers successfully quit smoking after 12 weeks of varenicline therapy, providing support that varenicline is an effective smoking cessation medication. Further studies with longer follow-up are warranted.
Trial Registration NCT00669240
PMCID: PMC3395840  PMID: 22300423
smoking cessation; Greece; varenicline; real world; observational
2.  Stopping smokeless tobacco with varenicline: randomised double blind placebo controlled trial  
Objective To assess the efficacy and safety of varenicline (a licensed cigarette smoking cessation aid) in helping users of smokeless tobacco to quit.
Design Double blind, placebo controlled, parallel group, multicentre, randomised controlled trial.
Setting Medical clinics (mostly primary care) in Norway and Sweden.
Participants Men and women aged ≥18 who used smokeless tobacco at least eight times a day, with no abstinence period over three months within one year before screening, who wanted to quit all tobacco use. Participants were excluded if they used any other form of tobacco (except smokeless tobacco) or medication to stop smoking within three months of screening or had any pre-existing medical or psychiatric condition.
Interventions Varenicline 1 mg twice daily (titrated during the first week) or placebo for 12 weeks, with 14 weeks’ follow-up after treatment.
Main outcome measures The primary end point was the four week continuous abstinence rate at the end of treatment (weeks 9-12) confirmed with cotinine concentration. A secondary end point was continuous abstinence rate for weeks 9-26. Safety and tolerability were also evaluated.
Results 431 participants (213 varenicline; 218 placebo) were randomised and received at least one dose of study drug. Participants’ demographics and baseline use of smokeless tobacco were similar (89% (189) and 90% (196), respectively, were men; mean age in both groups was 43.9; participants used smokeless tobacco products about 15 times a day, and about 80% first used smokeless tobacco within 30 minutes after awakening). Continuous abstinence rate at week 9-12 was higher in the varenicline group than the placebo group (59% (125) v 39% (85); relative risk 1.60, 95% confidence interval 1.32 to 1.87, P<0.001; risk difference 20%; number needed to treat 5). The advantage of varenicline over placebo persisted through 14 weeks of follow-up (continuous abstinence rate at week 9-26 was 45% (95) v 34% (73); relative risk 1.42, 1.08 to 1.79, P=0.012; risk difference 11%; number needed to treat 9). The most common adverse events in the varenicline group compared with the placebo group were nausea (35% (74) v 6% (14)), fatigue (10% (22) v 7% (15)), headache (10% (22) v 9% (20)), and sleep disorder (10% (22) v 7% (15)). Few adverse events led to discontinuation of treatment (9% (19) and 4% (9), respectively), and serious adverse events occurred in two (1%) and three (1%) participants, respectively.
Conclusion Varenicline can help people to give up smokeless tobacco and has an acceptable safety profile. The response rate in the placebo group in this study was high, suggesting a population less resistant to treatment than smokers.
Trial Registration NCT00717093.
PMCID: PMC2997603  PMID: 21134997
3.  Pharmacokinetics of Ampicillin and Sulbactam in Pediatric Patients 
Intravenous ampicillin-sulbactam is effective in the treatment of various infections in adults, but little is known about the pharmacokinetics (PK) of ampicillin-sulbactam in children. The objective of this study was to determine the PK of ampicillin and sulbactam in pediatric patients with intra-abdominal infection, skin and/or skin structure infection, or periorbital-preseptal and facial cellulitis. Intravenous ampicillin and sulbactam (2:1), 40 to 80 mg/kg of body weight, were given every 6 h for 2 to 6 days to 28 pediatric patients. The ages ranged from 1 to 6 years for 10 patients, 6.1 to 10 years for 9 patients, and 10.1 to 12 years for 9 patients. Multiple blood samples were obtained and analyzed for ampicillin and sulbactam in plasma and serum by high-performance liquid chromatography. The mean maximum concentration of drug in serum ranged from 177 to 200 μg/ml for ampicillin and 82 to 102 μg/ml for sulbactam in the three age groups. The mean total clearance, steady-state distribution volume, and half-life were 4.76 ml/min/kg, 0.32 liter/kg, and 0.77 h, respectively, for ampicillin and 4.95 ml/min/kg, 0.34 liter/kg, and 0.81 h, respectively, for sulbactam. Dose or gender did not affect the PK of ampicillin or sulbactam. The PK of ampicillin and sulbactam in these patients were comparable to those reported in adults. The combination was well tolerated in pediatric patients.
PMCID: PMC89137  PMID: 10223940

Results 1-3 (3)