Using Drugs to Quit Smoking

It has been established by the medical fraternity the world over that nicotine dependency is detrimental to your health, and this is the foremost reason that many smokers want to quit smoking. Quitting isn’t easy for most people and often they make several attempts before they finally kicking the smoking habit, but many fail even after repeated attempts.

There are a wide range of strategies and products available to help you quit smoking, but there is no fixed ‘cure’ that works for everyone. While some people manage to quit using behavioural modification therapy, some use nicotine replacements (such as chewing gum, lozenges, sprays, patches, etc.), and some manage to quit without the use of any products or techniques, commonly referred to as going ‘cold turkey’.

There also been a plethora of medical products that have become available to help smokers wean off the habit. Of course none of the drugs guarantee that you will quit smoking, but they can help increase the possibility. For people who’ve been unsuccessful using other methods, stop smoking drugs such as ‘Zyban’ or ‘Chantix’ could be the answer.

The Role of Dopamine in Smoking Addiction:
Nicotine is known to activate a similar ‘reward system’ associated with other drugs such as amphetamine or cocaine, albeit as a lesser level. According to research, nicotine works by increasing dopamine levels (a chemical in the brain which is responsible for ‘well-being’ and ‘pleasure’ feelings), and since the nicotinic effect wears off quite soon, a smoker feels the urge to smoke again. Varenicline Tartrate works by blocking nicotine from activating the nicotine receptors, thereby preventing dopamine stimulation. Bupropion Hydrochloride inhibits the reuptake of dopamine (amongst other chemicals found in the brain), and this results in the availability of more dopamine in the system.

Varenicline Tartrate (Chantix):
Chantix has received the American FDA’s approval and is made available to adults who want to quit smoking, although one needs a prescription for this drug that was introduced into the market by Pfizer Inc. Chantix has no nicotine, but is known to act upon the brain receptors which come into play when nicotine enters the system. The use of Chantix starts a week before the smoker stops smoking, and the general course runs for about twelve weeks. It can have a relatively high cost, but of course the cost of Chantix pales in comparison to the savings that would result if you do manage to successfully kick the smoking habit.

Effects of the Chantix Drug:
Chantix is known to stimulate areas in the brain referred to as ‘nicotinic acetylcholine receptors’ which are influenced by nicotine. This, in turn, produces an effect similar to that produced by nicotine. Additionally, Chantix can also help override the effects produced by nicotine when a smoker smokes after being on this medication. Since Chantix is designed to activate a smoker’s nicotine receptors partially, it can help in reducing the withdrawal symptoms and cravings that are generally linked with quitting smoking. And since it also brings down the sense of satisfaction that smoking produces, it can also help prevent chances of a relapse. A large number of Chantix users are of the opinion that while on Chantix smoking is nowhere near as pleasurable as it used to be.

Possible Side Effects of Using Chantix:
The side effects associated with the use of Chantix can include a change in dreaming patterns, constipation, gas, nausea, and vomiting. Chantix is not recommended to people who suffer from any chronic medical condition and isn’t recommended for women who are either pregnant or breast-feeding.

Bupropion Hydrochloride (Zyban, Wellbutrin)
Commonly referred to as Bupropion Zyban and Bupropion Wellbutrin, this is a drug that is generally used to treat depression. However, this drug has also been successfully used by people trying to quit smoking. Often referred to as generic ‘Zyban’ and ‘Wellbutrin’, these are actually brand names of the generic drug Bupropion Hydrochloride. Also, while this drug is not recommended to all smokers who need help in quitting smoking, it can help in reducing the discomforts that are linked with the withdrawal symptoms of nicotine dependency. At times, it is prescribed to people who have failed in their previous quit smoking attempts.

When this drug is used to quit smoking, a 150 mg dose is taken once a day for around three days, and if the patient is able to tolerate the dose, then the dosage is subsequently increased. After being on this drug for two weeks, the patient is asked to discontinue smoking. And even though one can buy Zyban online, seeking a doctor’s advice before walking this path is always suggested.

Contraindications:
The use of this drug is not suggested to people who suffer from eating disorders (anorexia & bulimia), to people who suffer from epilepsy, to people who use MAO inhibitors (psychosis drugs), and to people who have recently stopped using ethanol and/or sedatives such as Valium and Xanax. It should be used with particular care (and preferably under medical supervision) in people who use drugs to minimize the risk of seizures (these include all drugs under the phenothiazine class, as well as chlorpromazine and prochlorperazine). Using this drug is not recommended if you have just stopped drinking as well.

Zyban/Wellbutrin Side Effects:
The side effects associated with the use of Zyban/Wellbutrin include headaches, insomnia, dizziness, dry mouth, agitation, as well as change in dietary patterns. Seizures, although uncommon, can also occur.

Conclusion:
In a recent study conducted by experts at ‘Consumer Reports’ which involved more than a thousand subjects, three different quit smoking methods were studied. These included the use of Varenicline Tartrate, Bupropion Hydrochloride, and lastly, a placebo. While the use of Varenicline Tartrate showed success in 23% of the subjects, Bupropion Hydrochloride was successful with 14% of the subjects, and the placebo helped 10% of the subjects in quitting smoking.

This only goes to show that guaranteed success cannot be expected by any quit smoking method, and one needs to figure out which method will work in each individual case. Also important to note is that experts opine that Varenicline Tartrate (Chantix) and Bupropion Hydrochloride (Zyban and Wellbutrin) should not be used together to increase the possibility of quitting smoking as this combination could be quite dangerous. And if you do intend to use either of these drugs, seeking professional medical advice at the onset in advised.

Simple Debt Managing Strategies For Seniors

As seniors near their retirement years, it is important to have more financial freedom in order to have a worry-free retirement. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many especially with the current state of the economy. There are a significant amount of seniors who are currently struggling with all types of debt that turns retirement into a concern rather than something to look forward to. As most would agree, this is a period in one’s life that should be enjoyable and stress-free.

Here are simple strategies to help you save more and owe less:

1. Live within your means. Do not spend on non-essential items if you can’t afford it. The reason why a lot people are in debt is that most people live beyond their means. Some are even spending their money even before receiving it.

2. Higher priority on higher interest rate credit cards. Be sure to prioritize paying off your credit card balances, starting with the one with the highest interest rate. Even though the balance is relatively small, all the interest will add-up and you might end up paying more on interest than your original balance.

3. Pay more than the minimum. Credit card companies will require you to pay only the minimum amount due. If you follow this, it will not only take you a longer time to pay-off the entire balance, but you will also end up paying a large amount in interest.

4. Reverse Mortgage. If your age is 62 years or older, you might want to consider this type of mortgage rather than using a standard home loan or a home equity line of credit. For seniors, incurring more debt with a conventional loan may not be the best option, as you one will be required to make payments to the bank every month.

A reverse mortgage is a special type of loan that allows seniors to convert a portion of the equity of their home into cash. As a result, you will you have the option of getting the money monthly or in lump sum without having to repay the loan. The debt will be paid upon death or when you sell or move to another house. To learn more about this, read 10 Things to Know About Reverse Mortgage. We highly suggest that you talk to your Financial Adviser or a Reverse Mortgage specialist for more information.

5. Downsize. This can be another realistic option. You can sell your current house and move to a smaller house that is less expensive. This will also allow you to use the money from the sale of your current home to pay off your debts.

You might also be interested to read Downsizing Tips for Seniors.

6. Life Insurance Settlement. If you are in financial distress and seriously need money, you might want to consider a Life Insurance Settlement. It is a financial transaction, which allows you, the insured, to receive an immediate payout higher than the cash surrender value offered by your life insurance company. You can do this by selling your life insurance policy to a third party at fair market value. To explore this option, please be sure to talk to your financial advisor that has a good understanding of life insurance policy options.

7. Use Generic Drugs. As we all know, prescription drugs are not cheap and the prices have been increasing significantly over the past years. You will be surprised that you can actually save anywhere from 30 to 60 percent compared to buying brand name drugs. To learn more about Generic Drugs, read 10 Things to Know About Generic Drugs. Click here to check generic drug approvals.

Copyright © 2008 La Dolce Living, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Boost Your Small Business With These Mobile Marketing Strategies

With the increasing number of people owning Internet-able devices these days, it is only apt that marketing is done on a new platform to reach out to the target market. Marketing done via mobile gadgets, be it a phone, PDA or the newcomer iPad, is referred to as mobile marketing. The first step to achieving a successful mobile marketing campaign is sitting down and planning what are the mobile marketing strategies that you would like to adopt, for failure to plan is planning to fail.

Small business mobile marketing can actually be done easily without too much trouble. The first step of planning is to make sure that you are not labeled a spammer. A spammer does not necessarily mean that you are trading in counterfeit goods or generic drugs; the definitions vary from country to country. It is advisable to check with the service providers before starting out your small business.

The first step that you need to do is to set your goals and targets. These refer to the sales that you intend to achieve and other measures of achievement. Next, conduct some research to know your target market. You need to understand the behavior of the market in order to reach out to them and convince them to purchase your product or service. The next step is to decide how to reach out to the market. Do you want to use MMS, a mobile website or social networking sites? Regardless of the method you choose, it is very important that your company has a mobile friendly website especially since you are choosing mobile marketing to promote your products.

After deciding on the marketing medium, decide on the message that you want to send to your market. Do you want to introduce a new product by blasting about your advantages, or do you want to play on your competitors’ weaknesses instead? Once you have discussed with your team on the advertising message to give, you can then kick-start your campaign. The final step would of course be tracking, analyzing and optimizing. This is the stage where you evaluate the effectiveness of the marketing campaign by comparing the sales of the product, and then start optimizing your mobile marketing strategies in order to achieve better results for the next campaign.