11:21am Friday 24 November 2017

Extended Nicotine Patch Use Helps Some Smokers Quit, According to Penn Study

Over the last several years, Lerman and colleagues have found that individuals who metabolize nicotine relatively slowly benefit from nicotine patch therapy more than people who metabolize it quickly. The fast metabolizers do better with drug therapy, such as bupropion (Zyban), as compared with the patch.

Now, in a randomized blinded clinical trial, Lerman’s team found that slow metabolizers benefit from extended treatment with the patch, according to findings presented at the American Association of Cancer Research meeting this week. At the end of six months of therapy, slow metabolizers who had six months of therapy were more than twice as likely to be abstinent as were slow metabolizers who had had only eight weeks of patch therapy followed by placebo patch for the remainder of the time. However, six months after therapy stopped for everyone there was no longer a difference between the treatment groups.

“Extended therapy helps people stay quit and recover from lapses, but it only works as long as people are on it,” says Lerman, who presented these data at a session on Tuesday, April 20th, devoted to lung cancer risk and addiction. “Those data lead to the compelling question of whether some smokers should be on nicotine patch therapy for the long term.” Lerman says the new data suggest that the guidelines for nicotine replacement therapy need to be reconsidered so that patients receive therapy longer than the current standard of eight weeks.

The team saw no difference in response to short or extended duration in fast metabolizers, further supporting their past results indicating that these individuals, which make up three-quarters of the population, need a different type of treatment. With that in mind, Lerman’s team is planning a nation-wide randomized trial to test the effectiveness of tailoring treatment – patch versus drug therapy – based on an individual’s nicotine metabolism rate.

 

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Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $3.6 billion enterprise. 

Penn’s School of Medicine is currently ranked #2 in U.S. News & World Report’s survey of research-oriented medical schools, and is consistently among the nation’s top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $367.2 million awarded in the 2008 fiscal year. 

Penn Medicine’s patient care facilities include:

Additional patient care facilities and services include Penn Medicine at Rittenhouse, a Philadelphia campus offering inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient care in many specialties; as well as a primary care provider network; a faculty practice plan; home care and hospice services; and several multispecialty outpatient facilities across the Philadelphia region.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2009, Penn Medicine provided $733.5 million to benefit our community.


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