Zyban was the first non-nicotine drug to be used to help people stop smoking. This drug contains chemical derivatives of a stimulant drug known as amphetamine and is also used as a drug to treat depression.
It is said that cigarette smoking causes one out of six deaths by making smokers susceptible to many illnesses. This is why a lot of research and development goes into making medicines that can help smokers stop smoking and stop their addiction. Smoking kills more people than:
- HIV (AIDS),
- drug abuse,
- car accidents, and
There are currently three types of medicines used to stop smoking:
- nicotine replacements meds,
- Zyban, and
Since nicotine replacements still contain nicotine, those who want to avoid nicotine are left with only two choices: Zyban and Chantix.
Zyban binds to certain receptors in the brain known as dopamine receptors and inhibits the reuptake of a stimulating brain chemicals known as norepinephrine. It also blocks nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, the receptors to which the nicotine from cigarette smoke binds.
However, some dangerous side effects of Zyban are
- chest pains,
- muscle and joint pains and
- irregular heartbeats.
With these unpleasant side effects in mind, scientists began to look to discover other drug to stop smoking that did not have these side effects. Chantix is an example of such a drug. Chantix works by binding to the nicotine receptors in the brain to relieve the craving and withdrawal symptoms one feels when one stops smoking.