Cytisine More Effective Than Placebo for Smoking Cessation

Higher 12-month abstinence rate with cytisine; cheaper than other pharmacotherapies

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Cytisine is more effective for smoking cessation than a placebo, with a better 12-month abstinence rate and seven-day point prevalence of abstinence, according to a study published in the Sept. 29 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Robert West, Ph.D., from University College London, and colleagues compared the efficacy and safety of cytisine with a placebo for smoking cessation. A total of 740 participants received either cytisine or a matched placebo for 25 days and a minimal amount of counseling during the study period. Sustained, biochemically verified smoking abstinence for 12 months after the end of treatment was the main outcome measure.

The investigators found a significantly higher 12-month abstinence rate in the cytisine group than in the placebo group (8.4 versus 2.4 percent). The seven-day point prevalence for abstinence at the 12-month follow-up was 13.2 percent in the cytisine group and 7.3 percent in the placebo group. The cytisine group had more frequent gastrointestinal adverse events.

"Cytisine was more effective than placebo for smoking cessation. The lower price of cytisine as compared with that of other pharmacotherapies for smoking cessation may make it an affordable treatment to advance smoking cessation globally," the authors write.

Cytisine and matching placebo were provided free of charge by the manufacturer, Sopharma. Several authors disclosed financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.

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