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Lifetime carcinogenicity studies were performed in CD-1 mice and Sprague-Dawley rats. There was no evidence of a carcinogenic effect in mice administered varenicline by oral gavage for 2 years at doses up to 20 mg/kg/day (47 times the maximum recommended human daily (MRHD) exposure based on AUC). Rats were administered varenicline (1, 5, and 15 mg/kg/day) by oral gavage for 2 years. In male rats (n = 65 per sex per dose group), incidences of hibernoma (tumor of the brown fat) were increased at the mid dose (1 tumor, 5 mg/kg/day, 23 times the MRHD exposure based on AUC) and maximum dose (2 tumors, 15 mg/kg/day, 67 times the MRHD exposure based on AUC). The clinical relevance of this finding to humans has not been established. There was no evidence of carcinogenicity in female rats.
Varenicline was not genotoxic, with or without metabolic activation, in the following assays: Ames bacterial mutation assay; mammalian CHO/HGPRT assay; and tests for cytogenetic aberrations in vivo in rat bone marrow and in vitro in human lymphocytes.
Impairment of Fertility
There was no evidence of impairment of fertility in either male or female Sprague-Dawley rats administered varenicline succinate up to 15 mg/kg/day (67 and 36 times, respectively, the MRHD exposure based on AUC at 1 mg twice daily). Maternal toxicity, characterized by a decrease in body weight gain, was observed at 15 mg/kg/day. However, a decrease in fertility was noted in the offspring of pregnant rats who were administered varenicline succinate at an oral dose of 15 mg/kg/day. This decrease in fertility in the offspring of treated female rats was not evident at an oral dose of 3 mg/kg/day (9 times the MRHD exposure based on AUC at 1 mg twice daily).