What medications ease irritability caused by quitting?

It sounds like you may have tried to quit before and may have experienced some feelings of irritability. This is normal because irritability and other symptoms such as anxiety, lack of concentration, or trouble sleeping may occur when a person quits smoking and can be attributed to withdrawal of nicotine. Withdrawal occurs when the body no longer receives the amount of nicotine it has been accustomed to and an array of unpleasant symptoms may occur. The good thing about this is that it does not last forever; it does tend to fade within 1-2 weeks, on average. It can be viewed as the body’s way of healing itself from the exposure to the many toxins and chemicals found in tobacco. Regarding what medications can ease irritability; there are currently 7 FDA approved quit smoking medications. Five of these medications contain nicotine (known as Nicotine Replacement Therapies or NRT for short) and they can all help with withdrawal symptoms and cravings. The patch, gum and lozenge are available without a prescription from any pharmacy. The other two NRT’s are the nasal spray and the inhaler and are available by prescription only. Lastly, the other two FDA approved medications are non-NRT’s, meaning they do not contain nicotine at all. They come in a pill form and are available by prescription only. These are Zyban (also known as Buproprion) as well as Chantix and they can reduce cravings thus making it easier for you to quit smoking. As with any medication, it is important to talk with your doctor or local pharmacist as to which one is most appropriate for you considering your specific situation such as amount of cigarettes smoked, medical conditions, and current medication use. Another important consideration in reducing irritability involves activities such as stress reduction techniques, for example, deep breathing, exercise, proper rest and good nutrition.

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