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How to stop smoking?

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Addiction Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 1486 Questions
I want to stop smoking and have even tried couple of times, but i have failed to stop it. Is there any medication that i can take that will reduce my cravings and help me in achieving the goal?(I have tried nicotene gums)
Posted Fri, 14 Mar 2014 in Smoking and Alcohol Addiction
Answered by Dr. Preeti Parakh 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Yes Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX Welcome to Healthcare Magic! Yes, there are medicines available which reduce the craving for nicotine and make it easier to quit. These are started before quitting and after these become effective, a quit-date is set. On the pre-appointed date, you quit. Because of the medicine's effect, it is easier to remain abstinent. After you have been abstinent for a few months, the medicines are stopped. The two medicines that are commonly used are bupropion and varenicline. Bupropion is cheaper than varenicline. Varenicline is somewhat more effective. Since it is cheaper, bupropion is used more commonly. It is available in two forms SR and XL. The SR formulations are available in the dose range of 75 mg and 150 mg and have to be taken twice daily. The common brand names are Bupron SR and Zupion SR. The XL preparation is available in the dose strength of 150 mg and 300 mg. There is only one brand available (Bupron XL). It can be taken just once daily. Usually bupropion is started in the dose of 150 mg per day and later hiked to 300 mg per day if required. Bupropion should not be used by people who have a history of seizure disorder. I hope this helps you. Please feel free to ask in case you need any clarifications. Best wishes. Dr Preeti Parakh MD Psychiatry
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: How to stop smoking? 11 minutes later
Hi Dr XXXXXXX Thanks for your consultation. How do we arrive at the Quit date, as you said "These are started before quitting and after these become effective, a quit-date is set". For how many days should i take the medicine , before deciding on the quit date. Are there any symptons that I should be observing that will help me in realising that I can now start smoking? and from when should i start taking these drug? Are there any side-effects?(as of now i do not have any sizeure history)
Answered by Dr. Preeti Parakh 28 minutes later
Brief Answer: As below. Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX The quit date is set usually ten to fifteen days after starting the medicine, as this is the time usually taken for craving to reduce. You can start the medicine any day you wish and also start reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke per day gradually. By around two weeks, you will notice that your craving has reduced significantly. Select a date somewhere around then and designate it as your quit date. Stop smoking on this date completely. You just need to keep a watch on how strong your craving is before deciding that you are ready to quit. All medicines have side effects but not everybody experiences them. Just start the medicine and see how you feel. Apart from the risk of seizure, there is also the possibility of weight loss with bupropion. If, after being on 150 mg per day for around ten days, you do not notice any significant reduction in craving, then the dose may need to be hiked to 300 mg per day. Best wishes. Dr Preeti Parakh MD Psychiatry
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