Combo of buproprion and nicotine lozenges may help smokers quit

Researchers have found that 1 in 5 smokers of at least 10 cigarettes a day will make a serious attempt to quit when offered help by health professionals and that the most effective cessation method employs a combination of bupropion SR and nicotine lozenges.

Researchers have discovered that 1 in 5 smokers of at least 10 cigarettes a day will make a serious attempt to quit when offered help by health professionals and that the most effective cessation method employs a combination of bupropion SR (a sustained-release form of Zyban) and nicotine lozenges.

Stevens S. Smith, PhD, the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI, and colleagues determined the data, which was reported by Archives of Internal Medicine.

The researchers asked 7,128 smokers attending a routine primary-care appointment if they would be interested in trying to quit. The 1,346 (18.9%) who agreed were randomly assigned to 5 different drug therapies: nicotine patch only, nicotine lozenge only, bupropion SR only, nicotine patch plus lozenge, and bupropion SR plus lozenge.

Six months after trying to quit, 30% of the study participants taking bupropion SR plus lozenges were still smoke-free. Seventeen percent of those on bupropion SR only, 20% using the lozenge alone were not smoking, along with 18% of those using the patch alone, and 27% of people using the patch and lozenges.The bupropion SR-lozenge combination was better than all the single drug therapies, while the patch-lozenge combination was more effective than patch only or bupropion SR only.

“These findings provide strong support for the wide-scale implementation of this efficient primary-care based intervention model that significantly reduces barriers to patient access to evidence-based cessation treatments,” the researchers concluded.