Medications for quitting

Photo of a bunch of carrots

Your odds of quitting are greater when you combine medication and other quit strategies.

The first-choice medications are:

  • nicotine replacement therapy, including over-the-counter products such as nicotine patches, gum, and lozenges and prescription options such as the nicotrol inhalers and nasal spray. Combining the patch with another method increases the success rate.
  • bupropion (Zyban), a prescription medication that you can use by itself or with nicotine replacement therapy
  • Varenicline (Chantix) is another option that is available, usually for those who have tried nicotine replacement therapy and bupropion without success, or those who have an adverse reaction (such as a side effect or allergy) to those medications.

Learn more about taking medication to quit smoking, or use our online tool to see if medication is a good option for you.

Find out about coaching, classes, and programs in your area, including a pharmacy benefit for tobacco cessation medicines.

Reviewed by: EW Emanuel, MD, February 2016

Additional Kaiser Permanente reviewers

© 2016 Kaiser Permanente