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Anti-smoking medicines don’t cause psychiatric illness: Study

Anti-smoking medicines don’t cause psychiatric illness: Study

Smoking, which is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States, harms nearly every organ of the body. Nicotine smoke is the root cause of innumerable heart and lung diseases, including cancer. In spite of being aware of the harmful effects of smoking, over 16 million Americans are living with diseases caused by nicotine.

To get rid of nicotine addiction professional help and medication are needed. Effective medications are available for smoking addiction that can help a person walk down the road to recovery. However, most of the addicts and their families believe that these medications might result in neuropsychiatric side effects.

Varenicline, bupropion and nicotine patches help get higher abstinence rates sans side effects

A study published in The Lancet in April 2016 refutes the claims, saying that the drugs are indeed helpful for those who wish to kick the habit. Smoking cessation medications, such as varenicline, bupropion and nicotine patches, help achieve higher abstinence rates, and they don’t come with any side effects, the study states.

To ensure the safety and efficacy of smoking cessation treatments, primarily comprising varenicline and bupropion, the researchers enrolled over 8,000 smokers between 18 and 75 years who smoked 10 cigarettes a day. Among these, nearly 4,116 participants showed visible signs of a psychiatric illness such as depression, anxiety, or borderline personality disorder, while the remaining 4,028 individuals didn’t have any adverse mental health condition.

The findings revealed that during the course of the treatment, smokers who didn’t have any psychiatric disorder didn’t show any vulnerability to adverse neuropsychiatric conditions, but for the group that suffered psychiatric illnesses prior to the treatment, psychological disorders worsened even after receiving the treatment.

Prior psychiatric disorder failed to bring similar abstinence rate

Varenicline was found to be the most effective non-nicotine smoking cessation medication that helped people remain abstinent for a longer duration, with 21.8 percent of people given varenicline showing persistent abstinence, as compared to 16.2 percent of those given bupropion and 15.7 percent of those who got nicotine patches. The participants who had a prior psychiatric disorder failed to achieve similar abstinence rates as compared to those who didn’t have any previous psychological disease.

The study was requested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help people understand about the safety of the drugs that help people quit smoking.

Lead author Professor Robert M. Anthenelli of the University of California, San Diego, said, “Clinical guidelines recommend that the most effective way to give up smoking is smoking cessation medication and counselling. However, smokers do not use these services enough, in part due to concerns that the medications may not be safe. The findings from this study, together with data from previous trials and large observational studies, make it highly unlikely that varenicline and bupropion increase the risk of moderate-to-severe neuropsychiatric side effects in smokers without psychiatric disorders.”

Detoxification helps remove even traces of nicotine

Smoking harms a person both physically and emotionally. Detoxification is the first line of treatment for addicts. In the process, patients are given medications and therapy to get rid of withdrawal symptoms – ranging from a mild headache to the severe delirium tremens (DT). Whether an inpatient or an outpatient program, detox works best to remove even the traces of nicotine. But it may not do enough to help the patient confront the desire to smoke that still lingers with the patient. To begin with, an addict is usually prescribed medications to reduce cravings, but slowly, other nutrients, such as vitamin B1 supplements and folic acid, are administered to boost the overall health.

Smoking is very difficult to resist, as different psychological and social factors act as triggers to force an addict to smoke day after day. With detox therapy, a smoker can increase his chance of successful recovery by manifold. Smoking tobacco is a major problem worldwide. However, getting over it is not difficult under the right guidance.

If you or your loved one is grappling with an addiction to nicotine or any substance, get in touch with the Colorado Detox Helpline. We can help you find the best detox centers in Colorado. Call at 866-730-5807 for a referral.

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