“Translational Neuropsychopharmacology Research of Nicotine Addiction”
This study will examine the effects of combining Varenicline (VRN) and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) on neural circuitry function and treating nicotine addiction. Healthy adult nicotine dependent cigarette smokers interested in quitting (n=110) will be randomized to one of four PBO-controlled conditions for 4 weeks: 1) VRN+NAC, 2) VRN+PBO, 3) NAC+PBO or 4) PBO+PBO. Following 1 week of medication, participants will be contingently reinforced for 3 days of smoking abstinence and be scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques, while nicotine deprived during a resting state and a cue-reactivity (CR) task. Participants will be followed over the next 3 weeks of treatment and clinical variables will be assessed.
Drug - Varenicline (VRN)
VRN will be provided at the standard recommended dose (0.5 mg daily for 3 days, then 0.5 mg twice daily for 4 days, then 1 mg twice daily thereafter for the remaining 21 days of active treatment.
Drug - N-Acetylcysteine (NAC)
NAC will be dosed at 1200 mg twice daily throughout the 28-day active treatment
Drug - Placebo
Translational Neuropsychopharmacology Research of Nicotine Addiction