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Pill eases craving

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9:46pm, November 21, 2005

From Dallas, Texas, at a meeting of the American Heart Association

An experimental drug called varenicline helps smokers kick the habit better than does bupropion, the only drug currently prescribed for the task, a U.S.-Norwegian team of researchers finds.

In two studies, the researchers gave 2,045 U.S. smokers a placebo, varenicline, or bupropion—marketed as Amfebutamone, Wellbutrin, or Zyban. After 12 weeks, the quit rate was 44 percent for those getting varenicline, 30 percent for the bupropion group, and 18 percent for the placebo group, reports Serena Tonstad, a physician at Ullevål University Hospital in Oslo.

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