Smoking Quit Medication

As quitting smoking can be a difficult process, many people turn to medication to help stop smoking. There are a number of stop-smoking pills, patches, chewing gums and other aids on the market to help smokers quit. There is even a quit-smoking shot available to smokers from their doctors.

Some medications to help stop smoking include nicotine to help people deal with symptoms of withdrawal, while others contain no nicotine.

Smokers can choose the medications that fit into their lives and that will benefit them most in order to help stop smoking. While will power and desire to quit are also a big part of quitting smoking, medications can make the process much easier and more manageable.

In this section, we’ll cover all aspects of medications to help stop smoking. We’ll cover nicotine medications and nicotine-free medications, as well as patches, gums and more. We’ll explain how these medications work, their effects, how long they need to be used and more. This section is a great aid for people who want to know how to quit smoking and need stop smoking help.

Nicotine Replacement Medications to Help Stop Smoking

Nicotine replacement products are among the most popular medications to help stop smoking. Nicotine replacement medications come in many different forms, including:

  • nicotine gum
  • nicotine inhaler
  • nicotine lozenge
  • nicotine nasal spray
  • nicotine patch.

None of these products should be used by people who are still smoking, as nicotine overload can be very damaging to the body. These products should be used in conjunction with advice or counseling from a doctor or other health care professional.

Nicotine gum, nicotine patches and nicotine lozenges are available over-the-counter from drug stores and pharmacies. Nicotine inhalers and nicotine nasal sprays are only given with a prescription from a doctor.

Nicotine gum and nicotine lozenges come in two different strengths. Chronic, long-term smokers and smokers who smoke cigarettes with the most nicotine will want a higher strength than those who are occasional smokers.

The length of time people need to use nicotine replacement medications will vary from case to case. Many people will need to keep taking these medications for a few months in order to stop smoking completely.

Nicotine-Free Medications to Help Stop Smoking

While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved all nicotine-free medications for use in helping people stop smoking, some doctors will prescribe nicotine-free medications to those wanting help with quitting.

Two nicotine-free medications that are approved by the FDA are:

  • Bupropion (Zyban®), a prescription antidepressant
  • Varenicline (Chantix®), a prescription medicine that eases withdrawal symptoms.

Two nicotine-free medications not approved by the FDA but still sometimes prescribed to help smokers quit smoking are:

  • clonidine
  • nortriptyline.

Combining Medications to Help Stop Smoking

Many doctors and health care professionals recommend using more than one medication at a time to help stop smoking. A number of smokers find that combining medications both eases cravings and lessens withdrawal symptoms.

However, smokers who want to quit smoking should consult with a physician before combining medications.

Resources

National Cancer Institute (2007). Quitting Smoking. Retrieved December 20, 2007, from the NCI Web site: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Tobacco/cessation.