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Diabetes drug may help people quit smoking

Published on 01/05/19 at 10:32am

A diabetes drug may help people quit smoking, according to researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

Diabetes drug exenatide is being studied as a potential treatment for smoking cessation. The glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1RA), sold by AstraZeneca under the brand name Bydureon, will be trialled in a clinical trial of 90 volunteers.

“Preclinical and clinical studies have demonstrated that a Food and Drug Administration-approved diabetes drug with the generic name of exenatide can decrease consumption of food and other addictive substances such as alcohol and nicotine,” said Yammine, the study's principal investigator.

“These findings prompted us to investigate exenatide as a potential treatment for smoking cessation. We think that this drug will help with smoking cessation through the mechanism of reward - people will experience less enjoyment when they smoke. It may also help to decrease cravings for cigarettes and withdrawal symptoms that people may experience when they try to quit smoking.”

Participants will receive six weeks of treatment with either exenatide or a placebo in a double-blind, randomized trial involving patients aged between 18 and 75.

Louis Goss

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