Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Issues With The Quit Smoking Shot

The stop smoking shot is an injection that smokers can get to help them quit smoking. It is a combination of two different medications: scopolamine and either Atarax or atropine. Typically, patients will get three shots: one given in the hip or arm and another two given behind the ear. These shots have been proved effective for some patients, but there are problems with the stop smoking shot.

Problems with the Stop Smoking Shot

The biggest problem with the stop smoking shot is that it only targets the physical addiction. It does not target the psychological addiction, which many smokers find harder to conquer. This shot will not result in immediate smoking cessation. Atarax, one of the drugs, may cause pregnancy complications in the first trimester, cause drowsiness, sedation and dozens of other side effects. It is known to interact with more than a dozen different medications such as narcotics, antidepressants, antihypertensives and benzodiazepines. Scopolamine, another drug in this shot, is not safe for pregnant or nursing women. It can cause side effects such as dry mouth, tachycardia and constipation. Atropine can cause dozens of side effects such as trouble sleeping, headache, fever and dry mouth. It can also intensify the effects of antihistamines; it is actually coupled with an antihistamine in the stop smoking shot.

Main Ingredients

The main ingredients in the stop smoking shot are Atarax or atropine and scopolamine. Atarax is an antihistamine similar to Benedryl. Scopolamine is primarily used as a motion-sickness or seasickness medication. Atropine is an anticholinergic medication used to treat spasms in the intestines, stomach and other organs, and to decrease saliva production.


The stop smoking shot is intended to help cigarette smokers quit smoking. The two main ingredients combine to help alleviate physical nicotine withdrawal symptoms and to block nicotine receptors in the brain.

Side Effects and Warnings

Those who have had the stop smoking shot may experience temporary side effects such as trouble urinating, dry mouth, blurred vision, confusion and dizziness. Rare and dangerous side effects can occur when the ingredient atropine is given in high doses; these include coma, hallucinations, heart attack and stroke. Those who are pregnant, have prostate problems, or heart rhythm problems and those who take several mood-altering drugs should not receive the stop smoking shot.


The stop smoking shot has been proved to work for some individuals. Doctors strongly suggest that those who do get this shot also participate in counseling. The stop smoking shot is not meant to work by itself, and it does not fight the psychological addition to cigarettes. Research and clinical trials are currently being conducted to improve and create new stop smoking shots.

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