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Review: nortriptyline and bupropion each increase smoking cessation rates

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 Q Do antidepressants increase long term abstinence from smoking?

Clinical impact rating GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★★☆ IM ★★★★★★☆ Respirology ★★★★★★☆


Embedded ImageData sources:

drug names found in the Tobacco Addiction Group’s specialised register, reference lists, and meeting abstracts were searched in PubMed and EMBASE/Excerpta Medica in 2002. Investigators were contacted.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared any antidepressant with placebo or another treatment and assessed abstinence of smoking at ⩾6 months. Studies were pooled using fixed effects.

Embedded ImageOutcome:



30 RCTs were included. Tricyclic antidepressants. Nortriptyline increased smoking cessation (5 RCTs) (table). Monoamine oxidase inhibitors. 1 RCT of moclobemide did not show a statistically significant difference in abstinence at 12 months (table). Atypical …

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  • For correspondence: Professor J Hughes, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA.

  • Sources of funding: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and NHS Research and Development National Cancer Programme.