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There are at least three reasons to believe antidepressants might help in smoking cessation. Firstly, nicotine withdrawal may produce depressive symptoms or precipitate a major depressive episode and venlafaxine (1 trial, N = 147, RR 1.22, 95% CI 0.64 to 2.32), the herbal therapy St John's wort (hypericum) (2 trials, N = 261, RR 0.81, 95% CI 0.26 to 2.53), or the dietary supplement SAMe (1 trial, N = 120, RR 0.70, 95% CI 0.24 to 2.07). The antidepressants bupropion and nortriptyline aid long-term smoking cessation. Adverse events with either medication appear to rarely be serious or lead to stopping medication. Evidence suggests that the mode of action of bupropion and nortriptyline is independent of their antidepressant effect and that they are of similar efficacy to nicotine replacement. Evidence also suggests that bupropion is less effective than varenicline, but further research is needed to confirm this finding. Evidence suggests that neither selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (e.g. fluoxetine) nor monoamine oxidase inhibitors aid cessation.

Type

Journal article

Journal

The Cochrane database of systematic reviews

Publication Date

01/01/2014

Volume

1