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(1251 results for Non-Nicotine Smoking/Tobacco Cessation Medications)

Non-Nicotine Smoking/Tobacco Cessation Medications

Although the adult smoking rate has declined to about 17%, currently more than 40 million Americans ages 18 and older smoke, and tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the U.S. When people use tobacco products, nicotine is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, reaching the brain within 10 seconds. Like other addictive substances, nicotine causes a high, albeit a mild one which dissipates quickly. It is the characteristic buzz and the increasing tolerance to nicotine that causes people to continue lighting up. As the body builds up a high tolerance to nicotine, a person needs to smoke more in order to evoke nicotine’s pleasurable effects and prevent withdrawal symptoms.

Medical Treatment

Medications used to quit smoking help reduce feelings of withdrawal and cigarette cravings. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is the most commonly used medication, reducing withdrawal symptoms by providing a small amount of nicotine. NRT satisfies the craving for nicotine and lessens the urge to smoke. NRT options include patches, gum, lozenges, an inhaler and nasal spray. Patches, gum and lozenges are available without a prescription.

Bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban) is available by prescription and can be used safely with NRT options. A widely used anti-depressant, this drug is also used to help reduce nicotine withdrawal and the urge to smoke in people without depression. Its usefulness as a smoking cessation drug is not tied to its antidepressant effects.

Varenicline, (Chantix) is available by prescription. It helps reduce nicotine withdrawal and the urge to smoke. It also blocks the effects of nicotine from cigarettes if somebody starts smoking again. Varenicline is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for up to 12 weeks. If smoking cessation is achieved, it may be continued for an additional 12 weeks.

Smoking Cessation Research

A large scale study conducted between 2011 and 2015 in Taiwan compared the effectiveness of varenicline, bupropion or NRT gum versus NRT patch in achieving abstinence among people who recently quit smoking. In the group of 11,968 participants, 5,052 received varenicline, 823 received bupropion, 1,944 received NRT gum and 4,149 received NRT patch. Varenicline users reported higher abstinence rates than NRT patch users after six months. Differences in effectiveness were not observed between users of bupropion, NRT gum and NRT patch.

A 2013 meta-analysis of randomized trials found varenicline was the most effective medication for tobacco cessation and smokers were nearly three times more likely to quit on varenicline than with placebo treatment. Varenicline was more effective than bupropion or NRT and equally as effective as combination NRT for tobacco smoking cessation.

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More on Non-Nicotine Smoking/Tobacco Cessation Medications

Although the adult smoking rate has declined to about 17%, currently more than 40 million Americans ages 18 and older smoke, and tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the U.S. When people use tobacco products, nicotine is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, reaching the brain within 10 seconds. Like other addictive substances, nicotine causes a high, albeit a mild one which dissipates quickly. It is the characteristic buzz and the increasing tolerance to nicotine that causes people to continue lighting up. As the body builds up a high tolerance to nicotine, a person needs to smoke more in order to evoke nicotine’s pleasurable effects and prevent withdrawal symptoms.

Medical Treatment

Medications used to quit smoking help reduce feelings of withdrawal and cigarette cravings. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is the most commonly used medication, reducing withdrawal symptoms by providing a small amount of nicotine. NRT satisfies the craving for nicotine and lessens the urge to smoke. NRT options include patches, gum, lozenges, an inhaler and nasal spray. Patches, gum and lozenges are available without a prescription.

Bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban) is available by prescription and can be used safely with NRT options. A widely used anti-depressant, this drug is also used to help reduce nicotine withdrawal and the urge to smoke in people without depression. Its usefulness as a smoking cessation drug is not tied to its antidepressant effects.

Varenicline, (Chantix) is available by prescription. It helps reduce nicotine withdrawal and the urge to smoke. It also blocks the effects of nicotine from cigarettes if somebody starts smoking again. Varenicline is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for up to 12 weeks. If smoking cessation is achieved, it may be continued for an additional 12 weeks.

Smoking Cessation Research

A large scale study conducted between 2011 and 2015 in Taiwan compared the effectiveness of varenicline, bupropion or NRT gum versus NRT patch in achieving abstinence among people who recently quit smoking. In the group of 11,968 participants, 5,052 received varenicline, 823 received bupropion, 1,944 received NRT gum and 4,149 received NRT patch. Varenicline users reported higher abstinence rates than NRT patch users after six months. Differences in effectiveness were not observed between users of bupropion, NRT gum and NRT patch.

A 2013 meta-analysis of randomized trials found varenicline was the most effective medication for tobacco cessation and smokers were nearly three times more likely to quit on varenicline than with placebo treatment. Varenicline was more effective than bupropion or NRT and equally as effective as combination NRT for tobacco smoking cessation.

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