Nicotine addiction is the reason why many smokers crave the drug despite its negative impact on their health.
Although the harmful effects of smoking are well known, most smokers find it difficult to give up.
Around 85% of smokers who try to give up on their own, without using some therapy, relapse.
The nicotine in tobacco is very addictive, and smokers who decide to give up face many withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, irritability, and an intense craving for another smoke.
Often the smoker will tell his or herself that they’re just having the one cigarette because “they’re under stress,” “everybody else is smoking,” “they just need to stop themselves overeating,” or similar dubious excuses.
The truth, their brains have become nicotine slaves. However, quitting smoking is possible, and modern therapeutic approaches make success much more likely.
Support from friends and family is also helpful for those wanting to stop. Sometimes “friends” who are smokers themselves may, consciously or unconsciously, want the smoker to fail to quit.
They may offer cigarettes, fearing that they may have to confront their addiction if others in their circle no longer smoke.
Treatments To Quit Smoking
Wellbutrin (bupropion or Zyban) is an antidepressant, which is also commonly used as an aid to help people stop smoking.
A Cochrane review (a careful statistical analysis of many scientific studies) on quitting smoking concluded that Wellbutrin was statistically more effective than a placebo (dummy pill) in helping smokers to stop.
So, you can be sure that it’s worth taking Wellbutrin if you are trying to give up. Serious side effects are rare, so there is no reason for most people not to use Wellbutrin.
Wellbutrin is an antidepressant drug used in the treatment of the major depressive disorder and affective disorder of the seasons.
The brand is used to help the patient quit by reducing anxiety and other withdrawal symptoms.
However, it should not be used by those who suffer from seizures, or several other conditions. Always consult with a qualified doctor before starting to use Wellbutrin.
Usually, patients are started on Wellbutrin sometime before quitting smoking, to enable them to get used to the drug.
It’s considered a good idea to plan a particular “quit date” and stick to it.
Everybody reacts to such substances in different ways, but most patient reviews state that Wellbutrin was a definite aid to stopping smoking.
Many smokers found that they lost the urge to smoke entirely. Usually, people continue to use Wellbutrin for several weeks after smoking has stopped.
Most of them see they can come off the Wellbutrin without going back to smoking. So it is entirely possible to use Wellbutrin to quit smoking forever.
Varenicline (Chantix) is another effective drug used to help people to quit smoking. The side-effects may be greater than with Wellbutrin.
Nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) are often used to help smokers quit.
People can use nicotine patches, gum, or inhalers. The NRTs can be used in combination with a smoking-cessation drug if required.
Smokers don’t experience the usual withdrawal symptoms when on NRTs. Once smoking has stopped the amount of nicotine in the body will gradually reduce.
St. John’s Wort is an herbal treatment used to treat depression. Some often recommend it on websites as an aid for smoking cessation.
However, a randomized controlled study showed that it made no difference compared to a placebo, clearly indicating that people should use it for this purpose.
Acupuncture is a method some people had used for smoking cessation, but a Cochrane review of the evidence concluded that there was no clear indication that it was any better than a placebo.
What other uses does this medication have?
People sometimes used it to treat episodes of depression in patients with bipolar disorder. Such condition consists of a manic-depressive disorder that causes eventual depression, manic events, and other abnormal mood changes.
Others used it to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, who have more difficulty focusing, controlling their actions and remaining quiet or silent than other people of the same age).
Ask your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication to treat your condition.
Some medical experts might prescribe this medicine for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What should I avoid while taking this medicine?
Drinking alcohol during treatment may increase your risk of seizures. If you drink alcohol regularly, talk to your doctor before making changes in the amount you drink.
It may also cause seizures in a regular drinker who suddenly stops drinking at the start of the treatment.
This medication may harm your thoughts or reactions. Be careful if you drive or have to do something that requires you to stay alert.
What are the possible side effects?
Call your doctor right away if you have:
- Blurred vision, tunnel vision, painful swelling of the eyes, or seeing halos around lights.
- Fast heartbeat.
- Increased energy, fleeting thoughts, risky behavior, feeling very happy or sad, talking more than usual.
- Confusion, difficulty concentrating, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior.
- Severe skin reaction – fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple rash that spreads (especially on the face or top of the Body) and causes blistering and scaling.
Common side effects may include:
- Dry mouth, congested nose;
- Nausea, vomiting, constipation;
- Feeling anxious, nervous, trembling;
- A headache, dizziness;
- Trouble sleeping (insomnia);
- Intense sweating;
- Pain in the joints.
What special diet should I follow while I take this medicine?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue with your regular diet.
What should I do if I forget to take a dose?
Skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Always allow the full programmed time to elapse between each dose. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose.
What should I do in case of an overdose?
In case of an overdose, call your local poison control office at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim is unconscious or does not breathe, call 911 immediately.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
- Hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist).
- Loss of consciousness.
- Rapid or fast heart rate.