Describe the pharmacotherapies associated with nicotine dependence.

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literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Pharmacotherapy is the use of medications to treat disease. Nicotine dependence is not considered a disease, but the continued use of nicotine can be the cause of certain diseases (cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, lung cancer, throat cancer, or chronic obstructive lung disease). Some medications can be taken to help aid one in quitting smoking. The most popular medications today are Varenicline (Chantix) and Bupropion (Zyban or Wellbutrin). Both of these medications have been approved by the FDA to help smokers "kick the habit." Sometimes, these medications will be used together.

Varenicline is a medication which allows the smoker to continue smoking up to around 2 weeks into the course of medication. The medication takes away the desire and urges to smoke.

Bupropion is typically prescribed as both a smoking cessation aid and anti-depressant. This medication helps to "reduce the symptoms of nicotine withdraw." Smokers take this medication for up to one week before stopping smoking.

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