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Jed Rose of Duke University reported that a drug called mecamylamine helps people stop smoking.

Fifty million North Americans smoke because it makes them feel good. Eight seconds after being puffed from a cigarette, nicotine in the smoke is in the brain calming a person and helping him reason better and think more clearly. Mecamylamine blocks these benefits so a smoker taking mecamylamine does not feel good after each puff. It does this by blocking nicotine receptors so nicotine can't do its job (2).

Merck, the company that owned the original patent since 1939, stopped making mecamylamine, probably because so many new drugs were more effective to treat high blood pressure. Recently, Layton Bioscience has started to market mecamylamine under the trade name INVERSINE to treat Tourette syndrome, a condition in which a person shakes or moves uncontrollably. Inversine has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat smoking addiction, but future studies will show whether it is effective in controlling nicotine addiction.

Nobody has done the necessary research to show that mecamylamine helps to cure nicotine addiction, but I will be prescribing 2.5 mg two or three times a day to help my patients stop smoking. More recent research shows that mecamylamine may also be affective in controlling other addictions such as alcoholism, and narcotics.

May 30th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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