Two Quit Smoking Medications to Try

Many stop smoking products rely on introducing nicotine into the body in low doses to help control the cravings. As a person uses the products they gradually reduce the amount of product and therefore reduce the amount of nicotine until they no longer feel cravings or withdraw symptoms. With quit smoking medication the psychological side of the addiction is treated and the medication helps the body fight off the need for nicotine instead of introducing nicotine to the body.

Quit smoking medications are available through prescription only. There are two main types of medication that doctors prescribe: bupropion and varenicline. These quit smoking medications help people by treating the mental addiction of smoking and the physical addiction of smoking. They help a person to work through withdraws and cravings while also allowing the body to naturally rid itself of nicotine.


Bupropion is an anti-depressant, but it has been shown to work well as a quit smoking medication. It is usually sold under the name “Zyban”. The research is not clear as to exactly how this quit smoking medication helps people stop smoking. However, in trials is has shown that bupropion has a 50% success rate over placebo pills to help people quit smoking. There are some risks with taking bupropion, as with any medication. People who have seizure disorders, eating disorders or are on other medications should talk to their doctor about possible problems with taking bupropion. The side effects people most often experience are dry mouth and insomnia.

Using this medication to quit smoking begins one week before you actually stop smoking. The total length of treatment is from 7 to 12 weeks and is determined by your doctor. If, by week 7, you have not started to see relative success then you should contact your doctor for another treatment method because studies have shown patients who do not show good success by week 7 are not likely to successfully quit using bupropion.


Varenicline is sold as “Chantix” and is used specifically to help people stop smoking. Success rates for people using varenicline are almost 4 times better than when using a placebo pill. This quit smoking medication helps in two different ways. It blocks nicotine from being absorbed into the brain receptors that tell you smoking is satisfying. It also acts much like nicotine in the body which tricks your body into believing you are still in taking nicotine.

Varenicline causes nauseas in 30% of people who use it. It has been shown, though, that the nausea usually goes away as the person gets used to the medication. Other side effects, like insomnia being quite rare and occurring far less than with other quit smoking medications. Varenicline is taken two times per day. It can be taken for 12 weeks and if a person has successfully quit smoking in this 12 weeks period they can remain on the medication for up to 12 more weeks.

These two quit smoking medications have both been approved and tested by the FDA. They are considered a safe way to quit smoking and usually result in little or no side effects. A person must see their doctor before starting these medications as a prescription is required. It is a good idea to seek smoking cessation support in conjunction with taking these medications.

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