How to quit smoking?
Quitting smoking is not easy, but it’s worth it. In a month it will improve the complexion, in six months pass cough, and only one year is required to risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attack halved compared to a smoker. It seems that to cope with the bad habit can not afford? There are three groups of drugs that will increase your chances of success.
- Some drugs to help stop smoking, with nicotine containing small amounts of other not allowed to enjoy smoking. But they work best when used as part of the program, which includes three main points:
- Set the date.
- Come up with ways to deal with situations that stimulate the desire to smoke (trouble at work and at home, parties).
- Seek medical advice. Among the drugs there are also non-prescription remedies, but it is better to consult a specialist, he will help you choose the medicine, will talk about the side effects that are possible in the case with this patient.
- The patches, gum and inhalers are the means of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and are designed to deal with the unpleasant consequences of quitting – withdrawal syndrome (abstinence) and traction, a strong desire to smoke again. All of these products contain nicotine, but in much smaller numbers than the cigarette, and it falls into the body without tar, carbon monoxide and other noxious substances are present in tobacco smoke and cause cancer. Nicotine does not increase the risk of cancer.
- When using patch nicotine enters the blood through the skin, chewing gum and the inhaler provide access through the mucosa. There is no evidence that a particular type of NRT works better than others, in fact, these drugs can be combined. Some smokers use the patch as a primary means (every day or every other day), and the gum is used to relieve sudden cravings to smoke – is a popular and effective strategy.
- There is a myth that NRT addictive as well as smoking, and getting rid of a habit, immediately buy a new. But the main problem of NRT is that many do not have the patience and the willpower to use the drugs on time and long enough to quit. Most people need 8 to 12 weeks before you can begin to reduce the dose, and then completely abandon its use.
- Using NRT can cause side effects: irritation of the skin (if you use patches), insomnia, vivid, colorful dreams, upset stomach and dizziness. Usually they are mild or moderate, but severe symptoms should see a doctor, perhaps, the dosage should be adjusted.
- The drug bupropion was originally developed to treat depression, but then it was discovered that it also helps people who quit smoking. However, it is not clear how this happens. It is believed that the craving for tobacco reduced by increasing the levels of certain chemicals in the brain.
- Usually, bupropion is prescribed for 1-2 weeks prior to the day when a person plans to stop smoking. The drug should not be taken in an uncontrolled (like all antidepressants), but can be combined with NRT. By common side effects include dry mouth, insomnia, headache. It is important to know that in rare cases, the drug increases the risk of seizures, so not suitable for people who suffer from epilepsy, bipolar disorder, alcoholism, cirrhosis of the liver or receive insulin.
- Nortriptyline, an antidepressant earlier generations, sometimes also used as a treatment for nicotine addiction, but prescribed only if other means do not help. Some people receiving nortriptyline causes problems with vision and urination, arrhythmia, dry mouth.
Varenicline does not contain nicotine and has been specifically designed to help people quit smoking. This drug acts on the nicotine receptors in the brain, and during its use can not get pleasure from smoking. The drug helps to cope with withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Like bupropion, varenicline is usually prescribed in advance, a week before quitting, treatment lasts from three months to six months. Potential side effects include nausea, headache, insomnia and colorful dreams. In the first days of treatment, doctors sometimes recommend to give up driving. In rare cases, varenicline causes depressed mood, and suicidal thoughts. It remains unclear whether these phenomena directly with exposure to the drug, or the consequences of quitting. For most people, varenicline is safe, however the change of mood, depression and other severe symptoms need to be sure to tell your doctor.
Can we consider electronic devices safe alternative to traditional cigarettes? The answer to this question is clearly impossible. Electronic cigarettes have appeared recently, their efficacy and safety study, but the work is not yet finished, and published studies generally are preliminary.
Electrical devices that mimic real cigarettes produce no smoke, but potentially less harmful vapor. Some of them contain nicotine, it enters the body together with the steam, but by means of electronic cigarettes NRT does not include, and are not even medicines. This means that the regulatory authorities do not check the content of nicotine in electronic cigarettes have just believe the inscription on the label. It was found that some devices contain toxic chemicals, and most importantly, still do not know whether you can quit smoking using electronic cigarettes.
A pregnant woman should stop smoking as soon as possible. In this case, it is not recommended to take antidepressants or varenicline, but the use of NRT allowed. Of course, nicotine is harmful to the child, but the greater risk is exposure to carbon monoxide, which can lead to fetal hypoxia (acute lack of oxygen). Refusal of cigarettes through OST is not ideal, but at least reduces the risks associated with smoking.