Nortriptyline as a Smoking Cessation Drug - Is It Safe?

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Though the preferred medicines in smoking cessation programs are bupropion hydrochloride, nicotine replacement therapy, and varenicline, the use of Nortriptyline is undertaken if these medications do not accomplish the objective. Nortriptyline is only the generic name of the medicine; it is commercially known through brand names like Aventyl and Pamelor.

Nortriptyline- It's past and present use

Nortriptyline has been so far known as an anti-depressant. Hence, doctors prescribed it to patients who suffered from bouts of depression. Off late, doctors have started to use it in smoking cessation programs. The manner in which it works as a smoking cessation drug is still not known. However, the manner in which acts is radically different from the way in which it did as an anti-depressant.

Nortriptyline vs. other smoking cessation medications

Nortriptyline is administered if smokers are not able to quit smoking with the help of regular medications like bupropion hydrochloride, nicotine replacement therapy, and/or varenicline. Published reports claim that Nortriptyline has been quite effective in smoking cessation programs.

What is its rate of success?
The success rate of Nortriptyline has been observed to be almost double of that attained through regular medications. However, despite its success, the reason why it is a second choice is because its side-effects are more than the other three types of medications.

Nortriptyline and its side-effects
Nortriptyline has more side-effects on users than other smoke cessation drugs. This is exactly the reason why Nortriptyline is considered by doctors as only the second line of defense against the bad habit of smoking. According to credible and documented observations, the drug induces side-effects in 64 per cent to 78 per cent cases. The most common side-effects induced are sleepiness and dry mouth.

Other side-effects caused by the drug include blurred vision, light headedness, shakiness of hands, and urinary retention. The most serious side-effect of Nortriptyline could be arrhythmia (irregular heart beat). Because of the seriousness of these side-effects, the drug should be taken with extreme caution.

Smoking cessation using Nortriptyline- The Method
Generally Nortriptyline is not to be administered unless the usual drugs have failed. On some occasions, Nortriptyline can be used along with nicotine replacement therapy. On other occasions, it can be taken all alone.

To get the best results, it is best that you start taking the drug 10 to 28 before you are actually supposed to quit smoking. Once you have quit, you can continue with regular doses of the drug for another 12 weeks to completely rid yourself of the habit of smoking. On 99.99 per cent of occasions, you won't light up a fag ever again. So if your present drugs are not working, ask your doctor for Nortriptyline and get rid of smoking forever.