Smoking cessation medications

Definition

Your health care provider can prescribe medicines to help you quit tobacco use. These medicines do not contain nicotine and are not habit-forming. They work in a different way than nicotine patches, gums, sprays, or lozenges.

Information

Smoking cessation medicines can help:

Like other treatments, these medicines work best when they are part of a program that includes:

BUPROPION (Zyban)

Bupropion is a pill that may cut down your craving for tobacco.

Bupropion is also used for people with depression. It helps with quitting tobacco even if you do not have problems with depression. It is not fully clear how bupropion helps with tobacco cravings and quitting tobacco.

Bupropion should not be used for people who:

How to take it:

Side effects of this medicine may include:

VARENICLINE (CHANTIX)

Varenicline (Chantix) helps with the craving for nicotine and withdrawal symptoms. It works in the brain to reduce the physical effects of nicotine. This means that even if you start smoking again after quitting, you will not get as much pleasure from it when you are taking this drug.

How to take it:

Most people tolerate varenicline well. Side effects are not common, but can include the following if they do occur:

NOTE: Use of this medicine is linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

OTHER MEDICINES

The following medicines may help when other treatments have not worked. The benefits are less consistent, so they are considered second-line treatment.


Review Date: 2/6/2019
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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