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Smoking Cessation Treatments: What Are Your Options? – ManaPharmacy

If you are a tobacco user looking to quit smoking and looking for which medicine is best for quitting smoking, or you have tried quitting in the past, but you started smoking again – you have a chance of stopping for good! Remaining smoke-free can be frustrating, but many people have done it successfully- and you can be next.

Smoking cessation is the process of stopping tobacco smoking. It is important when you want to improve your health.

Health Benefits Of Smoking Cessation

If you are wondering why smoking cessation is important, you should bear in mind that cigarette smoking is one of the leading causes of death. It is also a major cause of disease like:

Female orthopedist examining senior man in clinic

When you stop smoking

Medications That Can Help You To Quit

Some smoking cessation products have proven to help people quit tobacco. They work by reducing nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Using these products can greatly increase your success in smoking cessation.

They fall into two main categories:

Examples of some cigarette replacement products include:

1. Chantix

Varenicline (trade name Chantix) is a prescription medicine that helps adults to stop smoking. It works by blocking nicotine’s effects in the brain that make you want to smoke.

Direction:

  • Start with the 0.5-milligram tablets and increase the dose as directed by your doctor. 
  • While you are on it, pick a date to quit smoking that is between day 8 until 35 of treatment. 
  • Stop smoking on the date you have chosen. 
  • Take the dose prescribed by your doctor for the rest of the treatment period.
2. Bupropion

The Zyban brand of Bupropion is a smoking cessation drug that works by reducing cravings and other withdrawal effects.

Bupropion in smoking cessation dose and directions: 

  • Consume Zyban 150 mg orally every day for 3 days.
  • Increase to 150 mg every 12 hours. 
  • Continue treatment for 7-12 weeks.
  • If you successfully quit after 7-12 weeks, consider ongoing maintenance therapy with your doctor.

Bupropion for smoking cessation can also be used along with a nicotine patch. However, this medication is not available in Malaysia

3. NicoDerm CQ

NicoDerm CQ patches are designed to gradually reduce your dependence on nicotine and diminish cravings caused by nicotine withdrawal. 

Nicotine passes through your skin into your bloodstream when you apply a patch. The patch delivers lower levels of nicotine into your body compared to smoking but high enough to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting smoking.

Each step of the NicoDerm CQ program gradually reduces the amount of nicotine in your bloodstream. Over time your body gets used to less and less of nicotine until you no longer need it. 

NicoDerm CQ program helps you to wean yourself off smoking within 8-10 weeks.

4. Nicorette

Nicorette nicotine gum and lozenges would work for you if you are looking for a great taste and intense craving relief. They have been specifically formulated to provide fast craving relief and curb withdrawal symptoms.

To use Nicorette gum:

  • Chew the Nicorette gum slowly and stop chewing when your mouth starts to tingle. 
  • Put the gum between your cheek and gum and leave it there until the tingly feeling is gone. 
  • Continue chewing slowly a few more times until the tingling returns.
  • Put the gum in a different part of your mouth.
  • Dispose the gum after 30 minutes, or when chewing no longer causes the tingly feeling.

You may chew a new piece of gum within 60 minutes if you have very strong or frequent cravings. However, you risk having side effects like hiccups, heartburn, or nausea if you chew one gum after another.

You can use at least 9 pieces of gum per day, but not more than 24 pieces a day- for the first 6 weeks of treatment. 

To use Nicorette lozenges:

  • Allow the Nicorette lozenge to dissolve slowly into your mouth for over 20 to 30 minutes- without chewing or swallowing.
  • Move the lozenge from one side of your mouth to the other until it has completely dissolved.
  • You may notice a warm or tingly feeling in your mouth.

For best results, use at least 9 lozenges per day for the first 6 weeks of treatment. Do not use more than 5 Nicorette lozenges in 6 hours (20 lozenges per day).

5. Nicotrol Inhaler

Nicotrol Inhaler is a nicotine inhalation system that also has menthol. It consists of a mouthpiece and a plastic cartridge that delivers nicotine from a porous plug containing 10 mg nicotine. The cartridge is inserted into the mouthpiece before use.

Directions:

  • Insert a cartridge into the mouthpiece 
  • Inhale the medication by quickly puffing on the mouthpiece for a 5-minute session four times, or continually for about 20 minutes.
  • For the medicine to work, you don’t have to inhale deeply as you would a cigarette. The medicine works in the mouth and throat, not in the lungs. 

After using the inhaler for a total of 20 minutes, remove the used cartridge and dispose. The mouthpiece is reusable but should be thoroughly cleaned. 

NOTE: Please be aware that these medication may need prescription from a doctor. It is best for you to get a proper consultation on the do and don’t, as well as the challenges you will face and also the correct ways of using these medications to stop smoking. Please refer to your nearest clinic or pharmacy if you want to try these medications and stop smoking for good.