Nicotine Replacement Therapy: One Patch Doesn't Fit All
The most effective length of time for using the nicotine patch may vary among smokers.
Previous research has shown that about 3/4 of smokers metabolize nicotine from nicotine replacement patches more quickly than others. Because of this difference, smokers who break down nicotine faster may have more success with drugs like bupropion (sold as Zyban).
A newer study, scheduled for release today, found that the 1/4 of smokers who metabolize nicotine slowly do better when they use the patch for six months instead of the standard 2 months.
Why Is This Important?
Current nicotine replacement therapies recommend the same dosage and length of treatment without considering the rate at which the user metabolizes nicotine. For at least 1/4 of smokers, this means the current recommended length of treatment with a nicotine patch--2 months--may not be the most effective therapy. This study highlights the need to more closely tailor smoking cessation treatments to particular smokers, rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach.