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Of the three front line therapies, combination nicotine replacement therapy and varenicline are equally effective and are more effective than single-form NRT or bupropion.

All three frontline smoking cessation pharmacotherapies (nicotine replacement therapy, varenicline and bupropion) have been proven to be effective (see below for findings on individual therapies) and have a low risk of harms. Combined forms of nicotine replacement therapy (patch and short acting) and varenicline are the most effective. Bupropion carries a known risk of seizures and the risks of varenicline appear minimal. Nevertheless, regular monitoring of side-effects is warranted.

Cahill K, Stevens S, Perera R, Lancaster T. Pharmacological interventions for smoking cessation: an overview and network meta-analysis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013 , Issue 5

Anthenelli, Robert M., et al. Neuropsychiatric safety and efficacy of varenicline, bupropion, and nicotine patch in smokers with and without psychiatric disorders (EAGLES): a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial. The Lancet 387.10037 (2016): 2507-2520. logo
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