Washington: A single pill appears to hold promise in curbing the urges to both smoke and drink, according to researchers trying to help people overcome addiction by targeting a pleasure centre in the brain.
The drug, called varenicline, already is sold to help smokers kick the habit. New but preliminary research suggests it could gain a second use in helping heavy drinkers quit, too.
Much further down the line, the tablets might be considered as a treatment for addictions to everything from gambling to painkillers, researchers said.
Several experts not involved in the study cautioned that there is no such thing as a magic cure-all for addiction and that varenicline and similar drugs may find more immediate use in treating diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Pfizer developed the drug specifically as a stop-smoking aid and has sold it in the US since August under the brand name Chantix.
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