NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Area Drug and Therapeutics Committee
Greater Glasgow and Clyde Medicines
Medicines Update

Varenicline for Smoking Cessation

Varenicline has been added to the NHSGGC Formulary Preferred List, along with nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).


Most smoking cessation supply is via community pharmacy with varenicline supplied by Patient Group Direction. Guidelines for community pharmacy supply have been approved and are used in conjunction with the varenicline PGD to help gauge prescribing decisions


Key changes from previous guidelines reflect:


  • removal of the ‘Black Triangle’ status of varenicline
  • NHSGGC Formulary amendment that varenicline may now be prescribed as a first line option with no need for a previous trial of NRT
  • removal of a maximum age status of patient (in line with the SPC)
  • a prescribing checklist which describes prescription of varenicline rather than referral to general practice for appropriate patients



The new guidelines also include explanatory paragraphs on how and when varenicline may be administered to patients with renal conditions and severe and enduring mental health problems.


The NHSGGC Pharmacy Smokefree team will be working with community pharmacy in the coming months to further support varenicline prescribing. Please contact the team on 0141 201 4945 if you have any questions.


Published 10/11/2016