Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Medication To Prevent Smoking

According to drugs.com, 46 percent of people in the United States who smoke try to quit each year and only 10 percent achieve short-term success. Only 5 percent quit for good on their own. Your chances of quitting smoking are greater with the aid of prescription or non-prescription drugs, depending on which your doctor recommends.


Chantix is a prescription oral medication that was released on the market in May 2006. It blocks the positive effects that nicotine has on your brain. Instead, it helps the brain release a hormone called dopamine, which helps relieve your withdrawal symptoms. If you relapse and have a cigarette while taking Chantix, you will find cigarettes to be less pleasurable. According to the Mayo Clinic, you take Chantix a week prior to your quit day, and daily for up to 12 weeks after. You will take Chantix once a day to start, then gradually up to twice a day. Depending upon your progress, your doctor may prescribe Chantix for 12 more weeks. Side effects include nausea, insomnia, nightmares, headaches and changes in appetite.


If your doctor recommends Chantix as your method of quitting smoking, be sure to tell him if you have a history of mental illness, as this medication can cause suicidal thoughts. Also, the Mayo Clinic states that the FDA warns that a possible inability to operate machinery may arise from taking Chantix. Also, Drugs.com states that Chantix may pose more side effects than we are aware of, as it is the newest of anti-smoking drugs as of 2009.


Zyban is another type of prescription medication. Like Chantix, you take it a week before your projected quit date. However, according to Drugs.com, Chantix is 60 percent more successful than Zyban. Still, the website states that you will have similar quitting success to that of nicotine replacement drugs. Side effects include anxiety, dry mouth, headache, insomnia and irritability. In rare cases, seizures occur.

Non-Prescription Nicotine Replacements

Unlike Chantix and Zyban, you start taking nicotine replacement medications on your quit date. They work by giving your body smaller levels of nicotine than cigarettes, so that you experience fewer withdrawal symptoms than if you try to quit alone. Examples of non-prescription nicotine replacement drugs include Nicoderm patches and Nicorette gum. Side effects of patches include abnormal dreams, insomnia and skin reactions. Nicotine gums may cause jaw pain.

Prescription Nicotine Replacements

Your doctor may opt for a prescription version of nicotine replacement drugs, such as Nicotrol nasal spray or inhalers. These medications are taken daily for up to six months. You may experience nose irritation with such nasal sprays.

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