23 June 2007

No magical quit smoking pill

From The Guardian – "UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence gave draft approval for the health service to prescribe varenicline, which is manufactured by Pfizer under the brand name Champix. Trials showed the twice-daily pill provided relief from cravings and withdrawal symptoms experienced by smokers in the weeks after quitting. During the trials, 44% of smokers had quit by the end of a 12-week course. This compared with a 30% success rate for the anti-smoking drug Zyban and 18% for smokers, who were given a placebo. The recommended 12-week course of treatment costs about £163.80."

Some researchers are going to help addicts quit smoking and remain off with pills. These researchers see great promise for a nicotine free way to stop smoking addiction in a marketplace dominated by nicotine patches and gums. Researchers hope that the overwhelming cravings will not kick in when patients quits smoking. If they do reach for a cigarette, the drug will be sitting in nicotine's favorite parking spot, decreasing its effect on the brain.

It seems that scientists will develop a number of successful pills (including varenicline/champix) that will prove effective, but no single pill will "cure" smoking. Doctors with high hopes have been let down before. In 1997, the FDA permitted bupropion, commonly sold under the name Zyban, as an anti smoking pill, but the drug was never the industry blockbuster some expected.

A good range of clinically proven treatments gives smokers, who are serious about quitting another choice to get help. It seems that smokers, who combine treatments with the right support, could considerably increase their chances of successfully quitting for life, but some magic pill that will block smokers from any quit smoking symptoms will never be worked out.

1 comment:

Marvin said...

Hi Robert,

Very informative post, thank you for sharing...well there are a lot of quit smoking products. But when we decide to quit we also need a firm willpower which can make one able to leave this nicotine addiction far behind. One has to play certain mind games, as we all know that mind controls the body.


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