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Psoriasis Drug Still Looks Good for Quitting Smoking


Safety remains a major concern, since Oxsoralen has not been proven safe for long-term use in humans. Tyndale tells WebMD that one of four NIDA-funded studies the group is designing will examine the safety of Oxsoralen at doses of 10 mg or less. The usual dose for short-term use of Oxsoralen in treatment of psoriasis is 20 mg to 40 mg. The other three studies will look at longer use of the Oxsoralen/nicotine combination, at Oxsoralen's effects by itself on smoking cessation after several weeks of using it, and at whether Oxsoralen/nicotine improves long-term smoking cessation rates.

Vocci tells WebMD that he thinks adding Oxsoralen to nicotine replacement therapy might help more smokers take the first step, but he doubts that this alone will increase long-term abstinence rates, which range from 5% to 10% in smokers who quit 'cold turkey' to 30 % to 40% in those who quit using nicotine replacement and group behavior therapy.

Vocci says that smokers need to watch out for four things that contribute to high relapse rates:

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Smoking 'just that one' cigarette once you've quit
  • Being around things that remind you of smoking

All of these could lead you back down the path to the dreaded habit, he says.



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