Medications your health care provider prescribes can help you quit nicotine and tobacco and keep you from starting again. These medications:
Like other treatments, these medicines work best when they are part of a program that includes:
Bupropion is a pill that may help decrease your craving for tobacco when you are trying to quit.
Although bupropion is also prescribed for people with depression, it will help with quitting tobacco, whether or not you have problems with depression. The exact way bupropion helps with tobacco cravings is not clear.
Bupropion is not FDA-approved for people under age 18, and is generally not used for those who:
How to take it:
Side effects that have been reported include:
Varenicline (ChantixÂ) helps with the craving for nicotine and withdrawal symptoms. It affects the brain, decreasing the physical effects of nicotine. So even if you start smoking again after quitting, you will not get as much pleasure from it.
How to take it:
Side effects are possible (although most of the time people tolerate varenicline well), including:
There is some evidence that the following medicines may be helpful in quitting smoking when the first-line medicines have not worked. However, their benefits are less consistent, and they are considered "second-line" treatment.
Smoking cessation - medications; Smokeless tobacco - medications; Medications for stopping tobacco
American Cancer Society. Guide to Quitting Smoking January 2011. Accessed February 21, 2011.
Benowitz NL. Tobacco. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 30.
Eisenberg MJ, Filion KB, Yavin D, et al. Pharmacotherapies for smoking cessation: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. CMAJ. 2008;179:135-144.
Fiore MC, Jaén CR, Baker TB, Bailey WC, Benowitz NL, Curry SJ. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Clinical Practice Guideline. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Service, May 2008. Accessed February 21, 2011.
Hays JT, Ebbert JO, Sood A. Treating tobacco dependence in light of the 2008 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services clinical practice guideline. Mayo Clin Proc. 2009;84:730-735.
Singh S, Loke YK, Spangler JG, Furberg CD. Risk of serious adverse cardiovascular events associated with varenicline: a systematic review and meta-analysis. CMAJ. 2011 Jul 4: 1-8.
Updated by: A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, and David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine.
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