Pharmacological Treatment for Pregnant Women who Smoke Cigarettes
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The Motherisk Program, Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Publication date: 2003-09-15
Corresponding author
G Koren   

The Motherisk Program, Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1X8, Canada
Tobacco Induced Diseases 2003;1(September):165
Smoking has been associated with several concerns in pregnancy including miscarriage, preterm delivery and stillbirth. Unfortunately, approximately 12% of the pregnant population continue to smoke cigarettes, suggesting a need for additional therapy beyond behavioural change. This paper reviews the literature on the use of nicotine replacement therapy and bupropion (Zyban®) in the pregnant human population, the pharmacokinetics of nicotine in the pregnant woman, and current guidelines for smoking cessation for pregnant patients. There are currently four studies that have investigated the use of nicotine patch, three for nicotine gum, and registry and preliminary reports for bupropion. These studies did not show any adverse pregnancy outcomes with the use of pharmacological aid for smoking cessation. All the nicotine replacement therapy studies, with the exception of one randomized-controlled nicotine patch trial had small sample sizes and looked at shortterm use of drug in the third trimester. Two studies have examined the pharmacokinetics of nicotine in the pregnant woman. The results from these studies reveal greater nicotine metabolism in pregnant individuals who continue to smoke during pregnancy. Current guidelines from several organizations uniformly recommend that Nicotine Replacement Therapy should be considered if non-pharmacological therapies have been unsuccessful. Bupropion is recommended in pregnancy if the benefits outweigh the risks. There is a need for further studies on the safety and effectiveness of Nicotine Replacement therapy and bupropion in pregnancy. However, considering the current research and guidelines, pharmacological cessation aids should be considered if non-pharmacological therapies have not been effective.
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