Smoking Cessation Drug Therapies: Nicotine Replacement Therapy, Bupropion, and Varenicline

Stop Smoking TherapySmoking cessation medicines help to reduce your nicotine cravings and alleviate your withdrawal symptoms. According to studies, they’ll be most effective as part of an intensive quit smoking plan monitored by a doctor or a smoking cessation specialist. In Australia, three smoking cessation drug therapies are commonly used — nicotine replacement therapy or NRT, bupropion, and varenicline.

What is Nicotine Replacement Therapy?

Your body will naturally crave having regular nicotine doses if you’re a regular smoker. Once you quit and flush out all nicotine from your body, you’ll struggle with withdrawal symptoms such as nicotine cravings, concentration difficulties, moodiness, and irritability.

Nicotine replacement therapy or NRT functions to release a steady but low dose of nicotine into your blood, minus the carbon monoxide, tar, and other hazardous chemicals found in cigarette smoke. According to, this medication to stop smoking will aid you in controlling your cigarette cravings once your body notices the lack of nicotine entering your body and improving your overall mood. NRT is available in different forms including patches, gum, lozenges, inhalators, strips, tablets, and nose and oral sprays.

NRT is usually used between two to four months before you slowly lower your dosage and stop. Based on studies, majority of people actually stop NRT in only three months, while more hardcore smokers may require longer use. Studies also show that it aids smokers on breaking down their psychological dependence on cigarettes and developing new and healthier ways for coping with their smoking triggers.

What are Non-Nicotine Smoking Cessation Medications?

In Australia, only bupropion, brand name Zyban or Clorpax, and varenicline, brand name Champix, are the medications approved for smoking cessation. These must only be used for a short time period. These medications function to increase the hormone levels in your brain’s reward centre and decrease withdrawal symptoms and nicotine cravings. They likewise reduce your euphoric or satisfying feeling when smoking cigarettes, and are not habit forming or addictive.

Note, however, that those who are really ready to stop smoking and aren’t physiologically dependent on cigarettes will be more responsive to behavioural therapies than those who are already dependent on nicotine. In addition, these medications can be availed under the PBS or Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme if they’re used in conjunction with a comprehensive smoking cessation treatment program.