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A diabetes drug could help consumers quit smoking

A study reveals yet another way existing treatment options can be beneficial in new ways

Photo (c) nzphotonz - Getty Images
With e-cigarettes dominating headlines, it’s more important than ever for consumers to know about tangible ways they can rid themselves of their nicotine habit. 

A new study conducted by researchers from the Society for Neuroscience found that pioglitazone, a drug typically used to treat diabetes, could be effective for consumers struggling with nicotine withdrawal symptoms 

How the drug works

The researchers tested pioglitazone on mice that were struggling with nicotine addiction to see how the diabetes drug could be effective in easing nicotine withdrawal symptoms. 

Withdrawal from nicotine can affect the body physically with symptoms such as nausea and increased cravings, but it can also affect consumers mentally by increasing anxiety, depression, and altering mood overall. 

The mice had pioglitazone injected into the hippocampus and amygdala areas of their brains. The former controls impulses, self-control, and how the body responds to certain stimuli, and the latter controls how we respond emotionally and make decisions. 

In both instances, the mice responded better overall, overcoming many of the most troubling symptoms associated with nicotine addiction. The researchers noted improvements in their mood, as well as reduced tremors and jitters. 

Though pioglitazone is designed to treat type 2 diabetes, the drug was successful in helping nicotine withdrawal because it targets receptors in the brain that are most commonly associated with drug addiction. 

Based on their findings, the researchers believe that the drug could serve as a complement to those struggling to quit smoking. 

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