What are some nicotine free products to help people quit smoking?

Bupropion, a prescription antidepressant marketed as Zyban®, was approved by the FDA in 1997 to treat nicotine addiction. This drug can help to reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms and the urge to smoke, and can be used safely with nicotine replacement products. Some common side effects of bupropion are dry mouth, difficulty sleeping, headache, dizziness, and skin rash. People should not use this drug if they have a seizure condition such as epilepsy or an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia, or if they are taking other medicines that contain bupropion hydrochloride. Also, people should avoid using alcohol while taking buproprion because alcohol consumption increases the risk of having a seizure.

Varenicline, a prescription medicine marketed as Chantix™, was approved by the FDA in 2006 to help cigarette smokers stop smoking. This drug may help those who wish to quit by easing their withdrawal symptoms and by blocking the effects of nicotine from cigarettes if they resume smoking. Some common side effects of varenicline are nausea, changes in dreaming, constipation, gas, and vomiting. People should not use this drug if they have kidney problems, and women should not use this drug if they are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

Although nortriptyline and clonidine are not currently approved by the FDA for the treatment of nicotine addiction, doctors sometimes prescribe these drugs to help people quit smoking.

This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute.

Two prescription medications that don’t contain nicotine have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: buproprion, an antidepressant, and varenicline, which eases the symptoms of withdrawal. Both are effective, UCLA internist Michelle Rios, M.D., explains, but they can have side effects that may include an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and psychiatric effects, such as depression, disturbing dreams and suicidal thoughts. As a result, she says, patients should talk with their physician before starting these medications and be closely monitored while taking them.
Not all smoking cessation medications contain nicotine. The two most commonly used prescription medications for smoking cessation are bupropion (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix). Both have been shown to be effective in helping people quit, but they are not without risks and they are not for everyone. Talk to your doctor about your health history and your risk before deciding whether you should take one of these medications.

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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.