Quitting smoking means improved health, but many also gain weight. Now, new research shows a drug may help smokers successfully target both of these problems.
Researchers from the University of Cincinnati studied nearly 800 smokers. Patients received either the drug rimonabant, which goes by trade name Acomplia, or a placebo.Participants who took 20 milligrams of the drug were twice as likely to quit smoking than those on placebo. Nearly 40 percent of this group quit smoking for a prolonged period, while only about 20 percent on placebo experienced the same success.Researchers say overweight patients lost weight while taking the drug. Overweight smokers who took 20 milligrams of rimonabant lost about one pound, while those on placebo gained about two pounds. Obese smokers also lost more than a pound while on the drug, compared to obese smokers in the placebo group who gained nearly three pounds. Researchers say normal- weight smokers kept their weight consistent while on the drug.
Researchers say since the two studies show that rimonabant treats obesity and related metabolic disorders in overweight/obese patients, and also helps people to quit smoking without significant post-cessation weight gain, they feel that they may now have a very promising approach for managing two major and preventable risk factors for cardiovascular disease with one and the same drug.