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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Varenicline or Chantix Helps to Quit Smoking and Other Tobacco Product

Posted by Prahallad Panda on 9:01 PM Comments

Common adverse effects of tobacco smoking (See... Nicotine in tobacco products give pleasure feeling but harm too much. It makes the person addicted to tobacco and simultaneous intake of other harmful ingredients cause many diseases.

Many methods and drugs are being tried to help addicts to quit smoking and using tobacco products. Available are nicotine patch, bupropion and varenzcline etc..

The fact is that there are receptors for nicotine in the brain. When one smokes, the inhaled nicotine attaches to these receptors. This sends a message to part of brain to release a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine gives a feeling of pleasure. But it does not last long. That's why body craves more nicotine and a vicious cycle starts.

It has been seen that varenicline, Pfizer's brand Chantix helps a lot in quitting tobacco. this molecule is a partial nicotine agonist, which gives pleasure feeling to some extent; but at the same time makes smoking a lot less enjoyable than before. At last it helps to quit smoking.

The researchers tested 101 middle-aged smokers from a stop-smoking clinic in London. They randomly assigned half of them to start Chantix 4 weeks before quitting, while the rest got a sugar pill for the first 3 weeks and then switched to Chantix as well.

After the first 3 weeks, the participants on Chantix smoked less and said they didn't enjoy it as much as before. More than one in three of them had cut the number of cigarettes they smoked by half, compared to only one in ten of the people who started out on sugar pills.

It was approved by US FDA in 2006, but some serious adverse effects made the Agency to add warning to this product. The detail can be seen here.

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