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Is Atomoxetine effective in treating nicotine withdrawal? A double-blind, placebo-controlled, fixed-dose study Open Access


Other title
nicotine withdrawal
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Dadashova, Rana
Supervisor and department
Dr. Peter Silverstone (Department of Psychiatry)
Examining committee member and department
Dr. Serdar Dursun (Department of Psychiatry)
Gian Jhangri (Department of Public Health Sciences)
Dr. Anthony Joyce (Department of Psychiatry)
Department of Psychiatry

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Drugs that affect noradrenaline neurotransmission are used as therapy for smoking cessation. A recent study in individuals with attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) suggested that atomoxetine, a noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, may reduce cravings in individuals with ADHD who also smoked. The present double-blind, placebo-controlled, fixed-dose study investigated the effect of atomoxetine on nicotine withdrawal in otherwise healthy smokers, who has no psychiatric condition, and wish to stop smoking. A total of 17 individuals received either 40 mg atomoxetine (9 participants) or placebo (8 participants) treatment for 21-days. Study results indicated that, although none of the participants stopped smoking, there was clinical improvement in the atomoxetine treated group compared to the placebo group. Analysis showed significant differences between groups with regards to nicotine dependence and smoking urges. These differences were not seen in mixed model and in a last-observation carried forward analysis. Of note was that all participants in the placebo group completed the study while more than half of the participants in the atomoxetine group dropped out due to side-effects. It is concluded that atomoxetine deserves further study as a drug to help individuals stopping smoking, but given the high drop-out rate, a lower dose may be required.
License granted by Rana Dadashova ( on 2011-08-12T03:37:15Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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