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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Does clozapine decrease smoking?

McEvoy et al.'s study in 1999, which used cotinine levels but had limited power, suggested that clozapine treatment may be associated with a mild smoking decrease (particularly when plasma clozapine levels are > 150 ng/ml). Some naturalistic studies also suggest that clozapine treatment may be associated with a mild smoking decrease. The present study included 38 schizophrenic daily smokers from a double-blind clozapine trial. Five analyses were tested for significant decreases in plasma cotinine levels from a haloperidol baseline to: (1) the end of clozapine trials regarding clozapine doses (100, 300 or 600 mg/day), (2) the end of the clozapine trial where the highest plasma clozapine level was achieved, (3) the end of the clozapine trial where a clozapine level in the 150-450 ng/ml range was achieved, (4) the end of the first clozapine trial regardless of clozapine dose, and (5) the end of the last clozapine trial in the study. The first and straightforward analysis by dose showed no clozapine effects on smoking. The second and the third analyses (an attempt to mimic the design by McEvoy et al. [McEvoy, J.P., Freudenreich, O., Wilson, W.H., 1999. Smoking and therapeutic response to clozapine in patients with schizophrenia. Biol. Psychiat. 46, 125-129.]) also indicated that there was not a significant effect of clozapine on smoking. The fourth and five analyses were also negative. None of the five analyses in our clozapine trial demonstrated that clozapine had major effects on smoking. This study cannot rule out that in some subjects, clozapine treatment may be associated with a small decrease in smoking. New prospective longitudinal studies using repeated cotinine and clozapine levels are needed to explore whether clozapine may reduce smoking in some patients.[1]


  1. Does clozapine decrease smoking? de Leon, J., Diaz, F.J., Josiassen, R.C., Cooper, T.B., Simpson, G.M. Prog. Neuropsychopharmacol. Biol. Psychiatry (2005) [Pubmed]
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