Cytisine, an effective option to quit smoking, with fewer side effects, study finds


Cytisine offers an alternative to varenicline, a smoking cessation drug, with fewer side effects, according to a new study. Photo courtesy of Max Pixel /Pixabay

July 6 (UPI) – The herbal drug cytisine offers an effective alternative to smokers who are trying to quit smoking and who experience disturbing side effects with other smoking cessation treatments, according to a study released Tuesday by JAMA find.

Almost 12% of those who used the drug, marketed as Tabex and as part of other smoking cessation products, during a 25-day treatment period, were no longer smoking six months later, data shows. .

Although over 70% of people taking cytisine reported treatment-related side effects, including trouble sleeping and “abnormal” dreams, the majority of them were mild.

“The results of our study add to the evidence that cytisine is an effective smoking cessation aid,” study co-author Ryan Courtney told UPI in an email.

The trial “found that, overall, cytisine was associated with significantly fewer adverse events compared to [with] varenicline, ”which is marketed under the name Chantix, said Courtney, senior lecturer at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Just under 11% of smokers who used cystisine reported nausea as a result of treatment, compared to more than 27% of those who took varenicline, according to the data.

“Nausea is often one of the main reasons smokers give up smoking. [smoking cessation] treatment, ”Courtney said.

About 17% of participants in the cystisine group said they stopped treatment because of side effects, while more than one in three in the varenicline group did so, according to Courtney and colleagues.

However, a higher percentage of people in the varenicline group – 13% – quit smoking and remained smoke-free for six months, according to the data.

“Although this study did not show cytisine to be as good as varenicline, there is already a lot of evidence that cytisine can help people quit smoking,” Courtney said.

“Cytisine is an inexpensive, well-tolerated and effective smoking cessation aid that… has the potential to make tobacco treatment accessible, affordable and cost-effective. [and it] is also derived from a natural plant extract, which may appeal to some people, ”he said.


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