When you first stop smoking, you may feel uncomfortable and will have the urge to smoke. This is because your body getting used to not having nicotine, the chemical in cigarettes that makes you want to keep smoking. Quit smoking medications help reduce feelings of withdrawal and cigarette cravings.
The most commonly used quit smoking medications are nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). NRT reduces withdrawal by giving you a little bit of nicotine. This satisfies your nicotine craving and lessens your urge to smoke.
If you are unable to take NRT or it is not working for you, other quit smoking medications without nicotine are available. These medications can also help reduce withdrawal symptoms and cigarette cravings.
Currently there are two main prescription medications that may be prescribed to help people quit smoking: Zyban and Chantix.
Zyban: Bupropion or bupropion hydrochloride, also known as amfebutamone, is a drug of the aminoketone family primarily used as an antidepressant and smoking cessation aid. Marketed as Wellbutrin and other trade names, it is one of the most frequently prescribed antidepressants in the United States, although in many English-speaking countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, this is an off-label use. It is also widely used, in a formulation marketed as Zyban, to aid people who are trying to quit smoking. Bupropion is consumed in tablet form and is available only by prescription in most countries.
Chantix: Varenicline (trade name Chantix in the USA and Champix in Canada, Europe and other countries, usually in the form of varenicline tartrate), is a prescription medication used to treat nicotine addiction. Varenicline is a nicotinic receptor partial agonist - it stimulates nicotine receptors more weakly than nicotine itself does. In this respect it is similar to cytisine and different from the nicotinic antagonist, bupropion, and nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) like nicotine patches and nicotine gum. As a partial agonist it both reduces cravings for and decreases the pleasurable effects of cigarettes and other tobacco products. Through these mechanisms it can assist some patients to quit smoking.
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Many smokers worry that they'll gain weight if they try to quit. Some even use that concern as a reason not to quit.
Indeed, for many ex-smokers, putting on a few pounds is healthy. Research shows that smoking actually makes some people unhealthily thin.
Still, if you're worried, remember this: a few simple strategies can help limit weight gain while you kick the habit. Once you have successfully broken the addiction to tobacco, you can work on losing any weight you've gained.
When smokers quit, metabolic rate quickly returns to normal. That's a healthy change. But if ex-smokers keep getting the same number of calories as before, they put on pounds.
When smokers quit, nicotine isn't all they crave. They also discover that they miss the habit of lighting a cigarette and putting it to their mouths. Many smokers turn to food to satisfy this so-called need for "oral gratification."
That's fine if it helps you to quit. But by choosing low-calorie or zero-calorie foods, you can avoid putting on weight.
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