Cytisine medication for smoking cessation by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
Cytisine is a prescription medicine available for the treatment of smoking addiction. A cytisine derivative varenicline was approved in 2006 as a smoking cessation drug. Some researchers doubt cytisine to be very effective for smoking cessation. But Robert West, from the Health Behaviour Research Center at University College London in England says Cytisine, sold as Tabex in former socialist economy countries for four decades, has now been shown to be an effective and safe way of helping smokers quit. The drug is extracted from the Cytisus laborinum (Golden Rain acacia) plant, and as a smoking-cessation aid it is similar to nicotine replacement drugs such as Chantix, patches and gums and Zyban (bupropion).
Mechanism of action
Cytisine is an agonist of nicotinic receptors; in particular, it binds strongly with alpha(4)beta(2) nicotinic receptors. Cytisine has been used to treat tobacco dependence for 40 years in Eastern Europe.
Tabex is the cytisine product name in Bulgaria. Tabex contains 1.5 mg of cytisine per tablet.