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News: November 5, 2009

To Quit Smoking, Use Patch Plus Lozenge

November 5, 2009

Out of five different smoking cessation methods, the nicotine patch plus lozenges proved to be the most effective, according to research published in the November issue of Archives of General Psychiatry. The study is the first to compare the different products against each other.

Megan E. Piper, PhD and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health found this combination to be the only modality with significantly higher abstinence from smoking compared with a placebo.

The researchers studied over 1500 adults over a period of six months who smoked at least 10 cigarettes a day. The patients were disqualified if they used any form of tobacco other than cigarettes, were currently taking the prescription medication buproprion, or had a mental health diagnosis of either psychosis or schizophrenia. All participants stated a motivation to quit smoking.

Bupropion is the generic name of the medication used as a smoking cessation drug (brand name Zyban) and as an antidepressant (Wellbutrin).

The participants were randomized to one of five treatment scenarios - nicotine lozenge alone, nicotine patch alone, sustained release buproprion alone or one of two combination therapies, buproprion plus lozenge or patch plus lozenge. The remainder of the study group received a placebo. All participants also received six individual smoking cessation counseling sessions with a case manager.

Smoking rates were assessed at one week, eight weeks, and six months after the beginning of the study.

All of the smoking cessation treatments worked better than the placebo for initial cessation and during the first week after quitting, but the therapy that provided the highest abstinence rate after six months was the patch plus lozenge combination, with a 40% success rate. The reasoning behind the successful combination is that the patch supplies a steady supply of nicotine replacement while the lozenge quells additional cravings.

In addition to initial cessation, participants who combined the patch and the lozenge were better able to remain smoke-free longer before having a cigarette or relapsing into regular smoking.

There were adverse events noted in each modality that was consistent with results from previous research: skin irritation associated with patch use, sleep disturbances and abnormal dreams for those on bupropion, and nausea for those on lozenges. Patients in the combination therapies reported more of the complications than those on single therapies or placebo. Four participants withdrew from the study, but there was only one serious event, hospitalization for seizures, which was possibly related to study medication, the researchers said.

The findings of this study complement the recommendation of the 2008 Update to the Public Health Service Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence Clinical Practice Guideline, which says that using the nicotine patch along with nicotine gum or spray is the most effective methods to quit smoking.



Archive issues: (50)

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December 08, 2009 | Tamiflu May Be Inneffective In Fighting Effects Of Flu

Washington (SmartAboutHealth) - According to a new review, the popular Tamiflu is weak when it comes to the effect it has in preventing effects of the flu, such as the development of pneumonia.  The new review was carried out by researchers in Great Britain, and puts into question ...

December 7, 2009 | Surprised? Black market steroids usually mislabeled

The risks of anabolic steroids - used by some athletes to build muscle mass - are by now well-documented. But it turns out, perhaps not surprisingly, that steroids bought illegally through "underground labs" and over the internet generally aren't what their labels say they are, researchers reported yesterday at the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry's annual meeting in Los Angeles.  Steroid users often complain that the drugs they had bought - often at ...

December 6, 2009 | Prostate Hormone Therapy May Up Heart Risks

Diabetes, heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems appear to be more common in men with prostate cancer who are treated with androgen deprivation therapy, which reduces or eliminates the male sex hormones that can promote cancer growth, a new study has found.  The finding indicates that androgen therapy is overused ...

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