These days, there's a plethora of medications available to help people who want to change bad habits. Check with your doctor for more information about the risks and benefits of medication before starting on any new drug.
Smoking. In terms of effective quit-smoking medications, the research gives a slight edge to Chantix over Xyban; either can be taken with nicotine patches or lozenges as needed. Both drugs require a prescription and it's "important that it's medically O.K. for you to take them," says Brown's Kahler, so consult with your physician.
"The differences between [Xyban and Chantix] are fairly small and people may find that they like one more than the other," says Kahler. "Talk with your physician about which to try first, and if you don't like how it feels or if it doesn't go well, try again."
Chantix has been linked with rare side effects like psychosis and increased risk for violence, so it must be taken under a doctor's supervision.
Drinking. For problem drinkers, ReVia (naltrexone) or Vivitrol (an injectable once monthly form of naltrexone) may help reduce cravings; the drugs can be used either for abstinence or reduced drinking. Another older anti-drinking option is Campral (acamprosate), which is used to help maintain abstinence after quitting drinking. Some doctors have also prescribed the antispasmodic drug baclofen off-label to treat certain addictions, but it is not government approved for those indications.
Keep in mind that, in general, combining approaches typically works better than sticking with single tactics: use multiple types of medications, if possible, and rely on social support and therapy, if necessary, along with drugs.
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