Antidepressant Patch Does Not Help Smokers QuitForty-six million people in the United States, which makes 21 percent of the total population of the nation, are smokers. Abstaining from the habit requires extreme conviction and many fail despite multiple endeavors towards quitting.
Some previous studies suggested that the intake of the selegiline pill could aid in reducing the cravings in those who desired to quit smoking. This particular drug used in either pill or patch form, is known for its effectiveness in treating medical conditions such Parkinson's disease, depression and dementia.
Habitual smokers find in difficult to quit due to the extreme yearning for nicotine. Dopamine, a chemical found in the brain is believed to reduce as result of abstinence from nicotine. However, selegiline is believed to help in maintaining the level of dopamine in the brain, thereby aiding in refraining from nicotine consumption. This was the fundamental reason behind believing that selegiline would be able to assist in quitting the habit of smoking.
Much to the disappointment of all, recent research proved otherwise illustrating that an antidepressant patch on the skin does not have any positive effects towards aiding smokers to quit the habit. The study led by Dr. Joel D. Killen of Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, was conducted on 243 adult smokers. Each of them was randomly assigned either a selegiline or a placebo patch. The effect of the patch was scrutinized for the next consecutive 8 weeks. During this time, counseling sessions for quitting smoking were also held with the participants. The results at the culmination of 8 weeks were in favor of the placebo patch group. In contrast to the 26 percent of subjects in the selegiline group, 30 percent of the placebo patch group abstained from smoking. At the end of 56 weeks, both groups were found to be at the same ratio of 20 percent abstinence within the groups. Surprisingly, the behavioral therapy administered to the patients during the course of the study produced a more positive effect than any patch.