2 Types of Medications That Can Help With Withdrawal

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Women with anxiety

When you quit smoking, you may feel strange at first. You may feel dull, tense, and not yourself. These are signs that your body is getting used to life without nicotine. It usually only lasts a few weeks.

Withdrawal symptoms can be a challenge. Many people start smoking again to feel better. Maybe this has happened to you. Most people slip up in the first week after quitting. This is when feelings of withdrawal are strongest.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the following medicines to reduce withdrawal symptoms and the urge to smoke:

  1. Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
    Nicotine gum, patches, inhalers, sprays, and lozenges are called nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). That's because they replace nicotine from cigarettes but provide it in lower and controlled doses. NRT can help you handle the physical symptoms of quitting while also reducing the nicotine in your system. This satisfies your nicotine craving and lessens your urge to smoke. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consult your doctor before using NRT.

  2. Other Medicines
    Bupropion SR and Varenicline are medicines that don’t have nicotine, but they still help with withdrawal and lessening the urge to smoke. You need a prescription to get these pills. Talk to your doctor to see if this medicine might be right for you. 

Using these medicines can double or triple your chances of quitting for good. They can help with cravings and withdrawal coping, but they won’t completely stop withdrawal symptoms.

Medications alone can’t do all the work. Even if you use medication to help you stop smoking, quitting may still be hard at times. For most smokers their best chances of success come from a combination of using medication and changing their lifestyle. Check out our Quit Smoking Methods Explorer to learn more about which medicine might be right for you.

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