Dr. M.v. Annalarasi
We at samecondition.com in the previous articles have emphasized the need to quit smoking. Like mentioned earlier, it is true that it is easier said than done. In this article, we would like to communicate to you, in case you already didn’t know, the various recommended practices to adapt while trying to quit smoking. Apart from our articles, you might have come across several sources of the ill effects of smoking. But try adapting a different perspective to look at this issue. The beneficial effects of quitting smoking are aplenty.
It is a common knowledge that nicotine is the addictive substance that keeps you glued to smoking. But to abolish it from your life immediately can have some unfavorable implications: Nicotine withdrawal symptoms are insomnia, anxiety, difficulty to concentrate, intense craving to get your hands-on nicotine, depression etc.
To help you avoid quit as well aid you in a smooth transition towards “ the life without nicotine”, nicotine replacement products are recommended. These products are designed in such a way that they supply nicotine in controlled amounts. This would prepare your physical being to cooperate with your mental efforts to quit. Also, some of these products function on the mechanism of positive reinforcement and desensitizing the nicotine receptors by the nicotine replacement. Some of these products are sold under prescription and some are available over the counter. These are Nicotine transdermal patches, lozenges, inhaler, nasal spray, and chewing gums.
The safety of ‘the otherwise effective nicotine replacement therapy’ during pregnancy, remains to be determined. Nicotine in any form still poses a threat to the fetus. If you are a pregnant woman or have been diagnosed with any health condition like asthma, COPD, diabetes, hypertension, it is advisable to better consult a physician before buying these products on your own.
- Nicotine (Transdermal) patches: recommended not to be used alongside cigarette smoking. It has the advantage of moderating and maintaining sustainable levels of nicotine ( lesser than in cigarettes).
2. Nasal spray: available as prescription-only drug and the dosage delivered is tapered over time.
3. Gum: a slow release resin containing nicotine and polacrilin. It has a proved smoking cessation track record of up to 70%. ( available over the counter).
Each of these substances come with their own side effects like sore throat, dry mouth, nausea, dyspepsia etc. But the effects are controlled over a period and hence signal safety with uncontested clarity.
4. Medications: There are some non-nicotine containing pharmacotherapeutic substances (FDA approved and primary line of management) that come to your aid in ‘the quit smoking movement’. Two common examples are Bupropion hydrochloride and Varenicline tartrate. Clonidine, an alpha-2 adrenergic receptor agonist, used for treating hypertension has also demonstrated considerable efficacy but not FDA approved. Yet, it has been endorsed by the US clinical practice guidelines to be prescribed as a second line of treatment for tobacco addiction. Next in line is Nortriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant, primarily prescribed to treat depression. It has also exhibited potential as the second line of treatment. The research to make patches with this drug is still under process.
An alkaloid called cytisine binds to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and in some clinical studies has proved to be superior to the replacement therapy.
Some of these are available commercially and some are still in the process to reach approval. It is heartening to know that the efforts to help people trying to quit are on the rise. Check the approval status of the drugs on the regulatory websites of your country. It is even better to approach a physician to get yourself a medically accurate blueprint to quit smoking.
Did you know? Nicotine vaccines might also become a reality soon. This new line of immunotherapy for smoking cessation is also underway.
The harms due to tobacco will stay away from you if you stay away from tobacco.
The article first appeared at Same Condition website: https://www.samecondition.com/blog/trying-quit-nicotine-dont-struggle-alone/