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Mecamylamine and the Patch

Another drug being tested in conjunction with the nicotine replacement patch for use in smoking cessation is mecamylamine, a prescription drug frequently prescribed for high blood pressure. A detailed summary of the original controlled study, see Clin. Pharmacol. Ther. Vol. 56 no. 1 pp. 86-99; also available on the Internet from the Medline page. Here's the short, layman's version: Source: The Mirkin Report #6455 (online)

"Jed Rose of Duke University has discovered that 6 weeks of taking a nicotine skin patch with mecamylamine pills, a drug that blocks the effects of nicotine, helped more than one third of smokers to stop smoking one year later. In high doses, both nicotine and mecamylamine have horrible side effects. High doses of nicotine cause high blood pressure, a fast thumping heart beat and shakiness. High doses of mecamylamine cause shakiness, dizziness, fainting, constipation and even convulsions. However, when the two drugs are combined in low doses, people trying to stop smoking seldom suffered side effects and many were not smoking one year later. The recommended doses were standard nicotine skin patches daily and 2.5 mg of mecamylamine twice a day."