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How do medications treat nicotine addiction?

Medications used to treat nicotine addiction rewire the brain to not experience the immediate gratification from the nicotine. Gum, inhalers, or a patch provide lower levels of nicotine than a cigarette. As the brain does not get an immediate "high" from the experience, the body slowly stops expecting an instant boost and becomes accustomed to lower nicotine levels. These replacements also do not have the carcinogens and harmful gasses found in cigarette smoke. Some antidepressants, like Bupropion and Nortriptyline, help to reduce the desire for nicotine while Varenicline tartrate blocks nicotine's effects in certain areas of the brain.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.