Anti-depressant drug particularly useful for
In the past, studies have shown that relapse rates for women smokers are
higher than for men when they are treated with NRT, such as patches or gum.
However, scientists at Oregon Health & Science University found equal
rates of smoking cessation when smokers were treated with bupropion.
Dr David Gonzales, senior research associate at the university, suggests that
the difference may be explained by the fact that the drug controls some of the
symptoms of quitting smoking that are gender specific. These include higher
levels of depression, anxiety and concern about weight gain.
He also says that previous research points to the taste and smell of
cigarettes being particularly pleasurable to female smokers and speculates
that bupropion actually changes the flavor of tobacco.
“Nicotine replacement therapy does work for both men and women but often not
as well for women,” says Dr Gonzales.
“We’ve found that bupropion works equally well for women as for men in
preventing relapse to smoking.”
In the study the researchers found that men and women were equally likely to
stop smoking after seven weeks of bupropion treatment and were also just as
likely to be non-smokers after one year of treatment.
The team reached their conclusions after looking at 784 male and female
smokers treated with bupropion over an initial period of seven weeks.
Those who remained abstinent at the end of this time were randomized to a
placebo or continued bupropion for another 45 weeks.
The time taken to relapse and begin smoking again or continue to abstain was
not significantly specific to gender, say the authors of the study.
Reference: Gonzales et al, American Journal of Preventive Medicine
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