Cochrane Summaries

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Does mecamylamine help people to stop smoking

Lancaster T, Stead LF
Published Online: 
10 August 2011

Mecamylamine is a drug originally marketed for lowering blood pressure, which was found to block the rewarding effects of nicotine. At doses high enough to do this, though, mecamylamine can have significant adverse effects, including drowsiness, hypotension and constipation. It has been suggested that smaller doses may work well with nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), and the two therapies may offset each other's adverse effects. Our review of trials found that while mecamylamine did not have a great effect on quitting rates, it may enhance the effectiveness of NRT and is worth further research.

This record should be cited as: 
Lancaster T, Stead LF. Mecamylamine (a nicotine antagonist) for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 1998, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD001009. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001009
Assessed as up to date: 
2 December 2010