As per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, following medications are approved for the treatment of nicotine addiction and assisting in withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

(1) Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) – It is the widely practised medication that is intended to use the different methods of delivering nicotine into the body and it does not involve the risks of smoking. The five NRT medications include trans-dermal nicotine patches, gum, Lozenges, sprays and inhalers.

Pharmacological Ways (2) Using Antidepressants – During the course of quitting smoking, many a times smoker goes into depression and he tend to smoke again in order to feel better. For such patients who are prone to depression, doctors may prescribe the anti depressants. One of the commonly used anti depressant is bupropion that is available under the brand name Zyban. However, the usage of Bupropion is contraindicated in various other medical conditions including epilepsy, anorexia/bulimia, seizure disorder and others.

(3) Nicotinic receptor agonist – It intends to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms and include the drug like varenicline that is available as Chantix and Champix brand name. Varenicline Tartrate can also be used by the smokers as an aversion therapy for reducing the desires and cravings for smoking by producing adverse effects on smoking similar to disulfiram or acamprosate for ethanol addiction.

(4) Cytisine (Tabex) – It is a basis of varenicline, and a cheap plant extract. It was among the first medication to get approval as an aid in quitting smoking. It offers few side effects in small doses.

Apart from the above listed approved medications for smoking cessation, there are two other medications that can be used in trials but they are not yet approved by the FDA. These can be used only under the careful physician supervision.

Clonidine – This drug reduces the craving for cigarettes after quitting smoking. But it does not improve other withdrawal symptoms consistently.

Nortriptyline – It is an antidepressant that has success rates similar to bupropion.