When people begin smoking, it is hard to imagine that they make the decision knowing the act may spiral into a full-blown addiction. However, this is where many people find themselves. Often, these same individuals come to the realization that they need to quit for the sake of personal health, but find the process extremely difficult. As the habit is physically and psychologically addictive, it makes sense that the cessation process is a trial in and of itself. This is the reason that medications have been created that may help lessen the difficulty of said process. Chantix is among such medications, and this article will discuss whether or not it actually helps people stop smoking.
Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States, causing more than 480,000 deaths per year, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Individuals who smoke frequently are 12 times more likely to die from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and four times as likely to suffer a stroke.
What is Chantix?
Chantix is an FDA-approved drug that is used to help people remain abstinent from smoking while they are attempting to quit. This medication can only be obtained with a prescription from a medical doctor. How does Chantix work? Unlike other smoking cessation medications that help wean people off of nicotine through the use of controlled dosages, Chantix blocks nicotine binding sites in the brain. These receptor sites can be thought of as a lock, and the nicotine is the key. When nicotine binds to these areas in the brain, it triggers a chemical process that creates the pleasurable effects produced from cigarettes. By blocking nicotine from latching on, the user experiences no such pleasure, rendering cigarettes useless for this purpose. According to a study published on The National Institute of Biological Innovation’s website, 44% of habitual smokers who took two daily doses of Chantix for a period of 12 weeks were completely smoke-free during the last four weeks.
Chantix Side Effects
Information regarding potential Chantix side effects was gathered directly from Chantix.com.
The most common side effects are:
- Sleeping difficulties
- Vivid, unusual dreams
More severe side effects may include:
- Aggression and hostility
- Suicidal ideation and actions
- Skin irritation
- Memory loss when combined with alcohol
Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Smoking Cessation
Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (deep TMS) is a relatively novel brain therapy. It utilizes the power of electromagnetic energy to stimulate certain areas of the brain. Electric coils are placed inside of an insulated helmet, and then onto the patient’s head. The belief behind this practice is that people struggling with certain illnesses, like nicotine addiction, have imbalances in brain activity. Electromagnetic pulses are administered to a predetermined area of the brain, which neutralizes the imbalance and lessens symptom severity. This procedure is tolerated well by most people, does not require surgery, and is done on an outpatient basis. Treatment occurs every day for a period of 20 minutes, until the full course therapy is complete (four to six weeks).
Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation has been tested as a method for smoking cessation, with promising results. A study indicated that of those who received high frequency deep TMS each day for two weeks, 33% were in a state of complete abstinence from smoking six months after the fact, says The National Center for Biotechnological Innovation.
Sometimes, people need a helping hand when it comes to kicking bad habits. Those who deal with nicotine addiction know that it is often quite difficult to stop smoking, and that cessation tools can be very useful. Chantix is an FDA-approved smoking cessation medication that has shown promising results for its purported use. For those that want to try to quit smoking without the side effects, deep TMS may be a beneficial option.
For those interested in deep transcranial magnetic stimulation as a smoking cessation tool in Los Angeles, Westside Neurotherapeutics, provides these treatments to stop smoking . For more information, contact the company by phone at 310.946.0008 or online at www.westsideneurotherapeutics.com.