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Drug helps women who stop smoking keep weight off
Date:12/10/2012

ago and 385 from Yale University. For six to 12 weeks after their quit date, participants took either naltrexone or a placebo. They also used a nicotine patch and attended smoking-cessation counseling for the first month.

After six months, 159 of the 700 participants (23 percent), including 77 women, remained verifiably smoke-free. After 12 months, that number fell to 115 (16 percent), including 57 women.

Over the first 12 months after quitting, weight gain continued to increase for successful quitters, but the benefits of the early treatment with naltrexone persisted. The effect was diminished, however. From a 50-percent reduction in weight gain for those taking the drug when measured at three months, the difference decreased to 40 percent (7.3 vs. 12.1 pounds) at six months, and to 20 percent (13 vs. 16.3 pounds) at 12 months.

"Naltrexone has produced the most promising results to date for helping women who quit smoking gain less weight," King said. "It is possible that the opioid blocker reduces women's tendency to eat high fat and sweet foods when they quit smoking."

But the available tools to help people stop smoking "are not satisfactory," King added. Smoking remains "a huge health problem and most adults in the United States are either overweight or obese. Our study demonstrates that naltrexone may be a promising medication to treat tobacco dependence and unlike the other approved medications, appears to help reduce weight gain for many."


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Contact: John Easton
john.easton@uchospitals.edu
773-795-5225
University of Chicago Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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