Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Prescription Medications To Prevent Smoking

Prescription Drugs to Stop Smoking

Smoking is an addiction, which means that smokers are physically addicted to chemicals in cigarettes that make it difficult to quit. Smoking leads to many health problems and increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and lung cancer. If you are a smoker and want to quit, help is available. Options include a variety of over-the-counter products, as well as prescription drugs to stop smoking.

The Power of Nicotine

Nicotine is a drug found naturally in tobacco. According to the American Cancer Society, nicotine is as addictive as heroine or cocaine. Almost as soon as it is inhaled, nicotine makes the smoker feel calmer and more relaxed. This pleasurable sensation makes it difficult to quit. Over time, more and more nicotine is required to produce the same sensation, which leads the smoker to be compelled to smoke more.

Benefits of Quitting

Chances are, you know you should quit. But did you know the benefits of quitting begin almost immediately when you quit? For example, according to the U.S. Surgeon General, the carbon monoxide in your blood drops to normal within 12 hours of quitting. Your circulation and lung function improve in a matter of weeks. Coughing and shortness of breath decrease within a few months of quitting.


There are several stop smoking products to help you kick the habit. Some stop smoking products can be purchased without a prescription, including nicotine patches, lozenges and gum. These products are called nicotine replacement therapy. They work by replacing the nicotine from cigarettes. If you have tried these products without success, it may be time to consider prescription drugs to stop smoking.

Types of Prescription Drugs to Stop Smoking

Most nicotine replacement therapy is sold over the counter, but nicotine replacement inhalers and nasal spray require a prescription. Bupropion is medicine available only by prescription that can help you stop smoking by easing withdrawal symptoms and reducing the urge to smoke. It is usually prescribed to treat depression, but has been found to be effective in helping some people quit smoking. Varenicline (Chantix) is another prescription drug that may ease withdrawal symptoms. This product does not contain nicotine and may block the effects of nicotine if smoking is resumed. Talk to your doctor about whether these medications are right for you.


Although bupropion and varenicline are safe for most patients, there have been some incidents of these medications triggering bizarre behavior including suicide. Patients should be closely watched for personality changes, signs of depression or suicidal thoughts.

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