Stop Smoking Pills – Success Rate and Side Effects


Regardless of the variety of treatment options available for helping people quit smoking, there are only two anti-smoking prescription pills that are free of nicotine. These are Zyban and Chantix. Other available medications are classified as nicotine replacement remedies, and are mostly designed to transfer the addiction from cigarettes to the nicotine replacement product. Zyban, with Bupropion as an active substance, is basically an antidepressant that was later discovered to have nicotine antagonistic properties and have since been used as a quit smoking drug. Meanwhile, Chantix, also known as Varenicline, is a partial nicotine antagonist and is a newer addition to quit smoking drugs.


Buopropion, the active ingredient of Zyban, is a nicotine antagonist. This means that Zyban will help decrease your body’s need and/or craving for nicotine. Taken twice daily for 8-12 weeks, this pill is said to help stop smoking within 8 days after beginning the treatment.

In addition to reducing your nicotine craving, Zyban also helps alleviate certain symptoms of withdrawal, including depression, anxiety, and even short-term weight gain. A success rate of more than 15 percent has been documented for smokers who have effectively quit smoking through these pills alone. Zyban is also a popular anti-depressant preferred by most physicians since it does not cause any sexual dysfunctions unlike most pills of its kind.

However, there have been a lot of seizures recorded following Buopropion use. While those cases were later discovered to be an issue of wrong dosage, this anti-smoking pill is not advised for epileptics or patients with any seizure-inducing conditions.

Other side effects reported from Zyban are dry mouth, tinnitus, tremors, nausea, and excess sweating. A sudden interruption of Zyban use may cause generalized pain, irritability, mania, headaches, anxiety attacks, and dystonia.


Chantix, a.k.a. Varenicline, is another commercially available nicotine free prescription drug. A recently discovered substance, Chantix has a greater success rate in stopping smoking when compared to Zyban. As a nicotine receptor partial antagonist, this pill can reduce nicotine cravings as well as decrease the extent of satisfaction smokers will get from their use of tobacco.

To date, Chantix has a 19 to 23 percent success rate in smoking cessation, which can take effect within 6 months or more into the treatment. Most stop smoking pills are taken for a 12-week period, with probability of extending for 12 more weeks if no favorable results were initially perceived.

On the other hand, Chantix does have adverse side effects that cannot be ignored, such as nausea plus various gastrointestinal problems like flatulence/constipation, pain, along with certain psychological repercussions. Varencicline has been closely linked to suicidal attempts, psychosis, increased violent tendencies, and even homicidal tendencies. As such, the drug has been banned for police agents and airline pilots. According to reports, Chantix was the number one pill with related incidents during the first quarter of 2008. Currently, the FDA has recommended further testing of Chantix.

Whatever stop smoking pill you ultimately decide to use to fight your addiction, you should always consider its potential effects and weigh your options carefully before making your choice.


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