Effect of glucose on tobacco withdrawal symptoms in recent quitters using bupropion or nicotine replacement.Hum Psychopharmacol 2004; 19(1):57-61HP
RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES
Glucose has been shown to alleviate the desire to smoke in abstaining heavy smokers and to increase 1-month abstinence rates on its own as well as when combined with nicotine patches. It is not known whether a single dose of glucose can provide additional withdrawal relief in patients who have already abstained for a period of time, and whether it can assist patients using bupropion.
Seventy-five volunteers from a smoking cessation clinic who maintained 1 week of validated continuous abstinence were randomized to receive four 3 mg dextrose or placebo (sorbitol) tablets. There were 31 bupropion and 44 NRT users. Measures of desire to smoke and of five withdrawal symptoms were taken before taking the tablets, and then at 5 min intervals for 20 min.
Despite low baseline ratings of withdrawal discomfort, glucose tablets significantly reduced irritability and hunger in bupropion users. Two other effects including reduction in composite withdrawal score approached but did not reach statistical significance. The effects emerged 10-15 min after taking the tablets. No glucose effect was detected in patients using NRT.
A single dose of glucose taken after a week of sustained abstinence may reduce withdrawal discomfort in patients on bupropion. Further research is warranted in combining glucose and bupropion, and in opportunistic use of glucose tablets in tempting situations during a smoking cessation attempt.