Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Antipsychotic Drugs Combined With Nicotine Patch Help Schizophrenics Quit Smoking

Date:
November 24, 2000
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Schizophrenics who took the newer anti-psychotic drugs along with the nicotine patch had nearly triple the success rate quitting smoking as schizophrenics taking more traditional anti-psychotic medications and the nicotine patch, a Yale study shows.

New Haven, Conn. – Schizophrenics who took the newer anti-psychotic drugs along with the nicotine patch had nearly triple the success rate quitting smoking as schizophrenics taking more traditional anti-psychotic medications and the nicotine patch, a Yale study shows.

As many as 90 percent of schizophrenic patients smoke. Researchers have found that smoking may enhance cognitive function and reduce movement disorder symptoms in schizophrenics, which they speculate may explain the high prevalence of smoking in that population. The newer, or "atypical," antipsychotic medications can enhance certain cognitive functions and are associated with less motor side effects.

"This confirms that the newer medications used to treat schizophrenia also might be helpful for these patients in treating smoking and other types of drug dependencies," said Tony George, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and lead author of the study in the American Journal of Psychiatry. "And because so many schizophrenics smoke, this finding could have substantial public health implications. Rates of certain diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease, are much higher among schizophrenics."

The study also found that the nicotine patch, which usually yields a 50 to 60 percent end of treatment success rate in smokers who do not have mental illness, was not particularly effective by itself with schizophrenics. In addition, the researchers found that a specialized group therapy program for schizophrenic patients for quitting smoking was no more helpful to subjects with schizophrenia than the smoking cessation program offered by the American Lung Association.

More traditional types of medication for schizophrenics such as Haldol and Thorazine have multiple side effects like muscle stiffness and abnormal movement of the face and extremities because they block the subclass of dopamine D2 receptors in regions of the brain that control movement.

The new class of medications for schizophrenics, the "atypical" antipsychotics, which include Risperidone (Risperdal) and olanzapine (Zyprexa), probably are effective for schizophrenia because they block receptors other than those for dopamine, and block the dopamine receptors in motor pathways to a lesser extent than the traditional "typical" antipsychotic medications.

"Because these newer drugs work so well, these drugs have given researchers new insights into the pathophysiology of schizophrenia," George said.

He said the more traditional drugs are still prescribed for about half of schizophrenic patients for a variety of reasons. In some cases the patients do not respond to the newer drugs. The newer medications also are more expensive and are not as yet available in long-acting, injectable form. A major problem with schizophrenics is that many do not consistently take their antipsychotic medication.

"If schizophrenic patients are smoking to alleviate some of the side effects of medications, maybe switching to the newer medications could help reduce their nicotine addiction," George said.

The study involved 45 tobacco-dependent patients diagnosed with schizophrenia and who smoked about a pack of cigarettes a day. The patients were assigned either to the American Lung Association program for smokers or the specialized group for schizophrenic smokers. Each group received the therapy for 10 weeks. All of the subjects were given the nicotine transdermal patch, which helps alleviate withdrawal and craving symptoms for people quitting smoking by delivering small amounts of nicotine into the bloodstream.

The investigators found significant differences on smoking cessation rates between patients who took traditional anti-psychotic drugs and non-traditional anti-psychotic drugs. At the end of a 12-week trial, 10 of 18 subjects, or 56 percent, who were taking the more modern drugs were still not smoking. Only six of 27 subjects, or 22.2 percent, taking the more traditional drugs had maintained abstinence from nicotine.

"Besides having the quit rates substantially elevated, we actually did an objective measure of smoking, checking carbon monoxide levels (a by-product of cigarette smoke), Schizophrenics and Smoking)and found a substantial reduction in carbon monoxide levels in patients who were prescribed the newer medications," George said. "People on the more traditional medications actually increased their rate of smoking."

The other researchers on the study were Bruce Rounsaville, M.D., professor of psychiatry; Thomas Kosten, M.D., professor of psychiatry; Douglas Ziedonis, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey; Alan Feingold, associate research scientist in psychiatry, and research assistants W. Thomas Pepper, Cheryl Satterburg, and Justin Winkel.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "New Antipsychotic Drugs Combined With Nicotine Patch Help Schizophrenics Quit Smoking." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 November 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001117071535.htm>.
Yale University. (2000, November 24). New Antipsychotic Drugs Combined With Nicotine Patch Help Schizophrenics Quit Smoking. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001117071535.htm
Yale University. "New Antipsychotic Drugs Combined With Nicotine Patch Help Schizophrenics Quit Smoking." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001117071535.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins