Antidepressants for smoking cessation
Hughes JR, Stead LF, Lancaster T.
Department of Psychiatry,
University of Vermont, 38 Fletcher Place, Burlington,
Vermont 05401-1419, USA.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2002;(1):CD000031


BACKGROUND: There are two reasons to believe antidepressants might help in smoking cessation. First, depression may be a symptom of nicotine withdrawal, and smoking cessation sometimes precipitates depression. Second, nicotine may have antidepressant effects that maintain smoking for some smokers. Antidepressants may substitute for this effect. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this review is to assess the effectiveness of antidepressant medications in aiding long term smoking cessation. The drugs include bupropion; doxepin; fluoxetine; imipramine; moclobemide; nortriptyline; paroxetine; selegiline; sertraline, tryptophan and venlafaxine. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group trials register which includes trials indexed in MEDLINE, EMBASE, SciSearch and PsycLIT, and other reviews and meeting abstracts, in September 2001. SELECTION CRITERIA: We considered randomized trials comparing antidepressant drugs to placebo or an alternative therapeutic control for smoking cessation. We excluded trials with less than 6 months follow-up. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We extracted data in duplicate on the type of study population, the nature of the drug therapy, the outcome measures, method of randomisation, and completeness of follow-up. The main outcome measure was abstinence from smoking after at least six months follow-up in patients smoking at baseline. We used the most rigorous definition of abstinence for each trial, and biochemically validated rates if available. Where appropriate, we performed meta-analysis using a fixed effects model. MAIN RESULTS: There was one trial each of moclobemide, sertraline and venlafaxine, two of fluoxetine and nortriptyline, and five trials of bupropion, one of which tested long term use to prevent relapse. Nortriptyline and bupropion both increased cessation. In one trial the combination of bupropion and nicotine patch produced slightly higher quit rates than patch alone. REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: Some antidepressants (bupropion and nortriptyline) can aid smoking cessation. It is not clear whether these effects are specific for individual drugs, or would occur with any antidepressant.
Smoking and MAO
Bupropion SR [Zyban]
Nicotine versus crack
The hedonic set-point
Antidepressants: nicotine
The neural basis of addiction
Bupropion for nicotine quitters
Bupropion and nicotinic receptors
Nicotine and the dopamine d3 receptors
Tranylcypromine (Parnate) and nicotine
Bupropion enhances pleasure for smokers who quit
Zyban/bupropion SR for tobacco smokers in remission

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