In a recent study published in the November issue of The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, researchers from Pfizer Global Research and Development report on the first clinical trial studying the safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of the drug varenicline on 65 to 75 year-old smokers.

The researchers conducted a double blind study providing two random groups of participants with either varenicline or a placebo. Those receiving varenicline reported just mild adverse reactions, such as nausea, but since the reactions were so mild, no one withdrew from the study.

“It is important to evaluate the tolerability of a potential treatment for smoking cessation,” write the authors. “The normal physiologic processes associated with aging can have diverse effects, particularly in the elderly population.” The researchers concluded that the pharmacokinetics evident in elderly smokers with normal renal function taking varenicline were similar to that of younger, healthy persons and that the drug was well tolerated in this population, therefore it was unnecessary to adjust the dose of varenicline based solely on age.