Researchers claim that a popular smoking cessation drug has been found to effectively reduce alcohol cravings.
The study led by researchers from Yale School of Medicine has shown that heavy-drinking smokers were much less likely to drink after taking the drug varenicline.
They found that the group taking varenicline, sold under the name, Chantix, reported fewer cravings for alcohol and less intoxicated when they did drink.
The participants were also much more likely to remain abstinent after being offered drinks than those who received a placebo.
Moreover, there were no adverse side effects associated with combining varenicline with alcohol in the doses studied.
"We anticipate that the results of this preliminary study will trigger clinical trials of varenicline as a primary treatment for alcohol use disorders, and as a potential dual treatment for alcohol and tobacco use disorders," said Sherry McKee, associate professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine and lead author of the study.
The drug not only helped quit smoking, it also helped reduce alcohol cravings.
"A medication such as varenicline, which may target shared biological systems in alcohol and nicotine use, holds promise as a treatment for individuals with both disorders" McKee said.
The study is published in the journal Biological Psychiatry.