Smoking Cessation Drugs Tested For Safety & Side Effects

Researchers from the University of California’s Department of Medicine conducted a randomized clinical trial to examine the safety and side effects of three commonly used smoking cessation drugs: bupropion, varenicline and nicotine-replacement therapy.  

The results of this study were published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

It’s been proven that all three drugs can influence cardiac health.

Both bupropion and nicotine can increase blood pressure and heart rate, while varenicline can affect cell function and regeneration on blood vessel walls.

The research team worked on an existing study in order to collect clinical data on the effects these smoking cessation drugs.

The trial study, named EAGLES (Evaluating Adverse Events in a Global Smoking Cessation Study), was extended. The researchers analyzed 4,000 patients for up to 52 weeks.

The researchers first examined the time a major adverse cardiac event (MACE) can occur.
A MACE is classified as cardiovascular death, non-fatal heart attack, or non-fatal stroke.

The research team did not find any significant differences in the comparison of each smoking cessation treatment.

Patients who had high cardiovascular risk scores at the onset of the trial had the greatest risk of cardiovascular occurrence during the trial.

When the researchers compared each treatment group, no major differences in the prevalence of cardiovascular events were seen when assessing according to low, medium, and high cardiovascular risk scores.

The study concluded that these medications are safe and effective for people who want to quit smoking.

Medical professionals should continue providing behavioural support and medical treatment to help patients succeed at quitting smoking as recommended by the US Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guidelines for Smoking Cessation.

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