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Side Effects of
Nicotine Dependence Medications

FIND A PHARMACIST WHO OFFERS GENETIC TESTING FOR Nicotine Dependence Medications

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Description: There are many medications that help individuals handle withdrawal from nicotine in order to quit smoking. In addition to nicotine replacement agents (gum, inhalers, lozenges, nasal spray, skin patch) there are a variety of prescription medications including bupropion and varenicline. The neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin (chemicals that help nerve cells communicate with each other) are linked to smoking dependence, and these agents work by increasing the availability of these key neurotransmitters involved in smoking and addiction in general.

Summary of Side Effects from Smoking Cessation Medications

Bupropion is an antidepressant medication that is used to treat depressive disorders and help people handle the withdrawal symptoms of smoking. It works by blocking the reuptake of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine – which results in more of the chemicals being available in the body.
Buproprion side effects include: seizures, fast pulse (tachycardia), blurred vision, severe skin reaction, dry mouth, muscle pain and changes in appetite.

Varenicline replicates the effect of nicotine in the brain and blocks the chemical from attaching to receptors in the brain. Thus, nicotine withdrawal symptoms and craving are reduced. Varenicline is a well-tolerated by most but it can cause adverse reactions including: nausea, headaches, constipation, chest pain and shortness of breath.

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Rxight® genetic testing from MD Labs can determine how well you metabolize hundreds of clinically relevant over-the-counter and prescription medications across over 50 pharmacological classes, including smoking cessation treatments – and therefore show how prone you are to side effects or to medication inefficacy. Rxight® is simple test. All that is required is a non-invasive DNA sample from a cheek swab at a participating pharmacy. After your sample is sent to the lab for analysis, the results will be reviewed with you in detail and will help guide your prescriber in finding the best dose for you. The report can be used to guide all current and future pharmacotherapy.

Contributors to this Article: Michael Sapko, MD, Phd and Deborah Kallick, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry

Nicotine Dependence Medications Tested Include:

  • Bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban, Aplenzin, Contrave)

Read more about Rxight® DNA Testing For Medication Tolerance