Want to quit smoking and think you might be helped by some of the new medications available, such as nicotine gum or the nicotine patch?

We asked the National Library of Medicine to tell us what kinds of medications were available and approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

We Know: About the Five Medications to Help Quit Smoking

All of these medications will more or less double your chances of quitting and quitting for good.

Here are the five FDA-approved medications currently on the market:

There are 2 medications that are currently sold over the counter at your drug store without a prescription:

  • Nicotine Gum
  • Nicotine Patch*

There are 3 medications that are available by prescription, and you must see your doctor in order to get them:

  • Nicotine Inhaler
  • Nicotine Nasal Spray
  • Bupropion SR

*The Nicotine Patch is available by prescription, as well as over the counter.

Here’s some additional information about these medications taken from the National Library of Medicine:

1. Who should use these medications?
All smokers trying to quit. However, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, adolescent smokers, people who smoke fewer than 10 cigarettes a day, and people with medical contraindications incur special risks and must discuss these additional risks with their doctor.

2. Which medications are best if you’re concerned about weight gain?
Bupropion SR and nicotine gum.

3. Which medication is best for people with a history of depression?
Bupropion SR.

4. Are these medications okay for people with a history of cardiovascular disease?
Yes, the nicotine patch in particular is safe and has been shown not to cause adverse cardiovascular effects.

This information and more is available the Health Services Technology Assessment Texts (HSTAT) website. Always be sure to talk these medications over with your doctor and to read the instructions carefully.

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