Home
/
Blog Articles
/
What is Cytisine and is it available in the UK

What is Cytisine and is it available in the UK

Navin Khosla NowPatientGreen tick
Written by Rajive Patel, BPharm
Updated on 28 Feb 2024
Share

Cytisine is a smoking cessation medication that has gained attention for its potential effectiveness in helping individuals quit smoking. It has historically been used medically in Eastern Europe with studies going back to the 1960s. It became available on prescription through the National Health Service (NHS), as of January 22nd 2024.

Derived from a plant alkaloid with a structure similar to nicotine, Cytisine acts as a nicotine receptor partial agonist, stimulating the release of dopamine while also preventing nicotine from binding to the receptor. This dual action helps alleviate nicotine withdrawal symptoms and reduce the rewarding effects of tobacco.

The launch of Cytisine 1.5mg in the U.K.

Consilient Health, a pharmaceutical company, has announced the launch of Cytisine 1.5mg tablets in the United Kingdom. This smoking cessation product, approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), is indicated for individuals who are willing to stop smoking and aim to achieve the permanent cessation of nicotine-containing product use.

The mechanism of action of Cytisine is similar to nicotine, as it binds to the same receptors responsible for nicotine dependence. By stimulating dopamine release and blocking nicotine binding, Cytisine helps individuals overcome nicotine cravings and reduce their reliance on tobacco products.

The effectiveness of Cytisine in smoking cessation

Several clinical trials have explored the effectiveness of Cytisine in smoking cessation. A systematic review and meta-analysis published in the journal, Addiction, found that Cytisine was more effective than a placebo in achieving abstinence from smoking. The study concluded that Cytisine could be considered a low-cost and readily available treatment for smoking cessation.

Another study published in the New England Journal of Medicine compared Cytisine to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and found that both treatments were equally effective in helping individuals quit smoking. The study also highlighted that Cytisine was significantly less expensive than NRT, making it a potentially cost-effective option for smoking cessation.

The dosage and administration of Cytisine

Cytisine is taken orally, following a reduced dosing schedule over 25 days. The recommended treatment course consists of 100 tablets, which is sufficient for the entire duration of the treatment. Each tablet contains 1.5mg of Cytisine.

It is important for individuals using Cytisine pills to follow the prescribed dosing schedule and complete the full course of treatment. This will maximize the chances of successfully quitting smoking and achieving long-term abstinence.

Approval and licensing

Cytisine has received approval from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the U.K. It is licensed for “smoking cessation and reduction of nicotine cravings in smokers who are willing to stop smoking.” The goal of treatment with Cytisine is the permanent cessation of nicotine-containing product use.

Availability and price

Consilient Health is set to launch Cytisine 1.5mg tablets in the U.K. from January 2024. The product will be available from all main wholesalers starting from mid to end of January 2024. One pack of Cytisine, containing 100 tablets, is priced at £115. This pack is sufficient for the recommended 25-day treatment course

The potential benefits and side effects of Cytisine

Cytisine offers several potential benefits as a smoking cessation medication. Its mechanism of action helps alleviate nicotine withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings, and decrease the rewarding effects of tobacco. By supporting individuals in their quit journey, Cytisine can contribute to improved health outcomes and a reduced risk of smoking-related diseases.

Cytisine offers several potential benefits for smokers who are looking to quit. Some of the key advantages include:

  • Proven efficacy: Cytisine has been extensively studied and has shown comparable efficacy to other smoking cessation medications such as varenicline and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)
  • Affordability: Cytisine is a cost-effective option for smokers as it is priced lower compared to some other smoking cessation medications
  • Reduced side effects: Cytisine is generally well-tolerated, with fewer reported side effects compared to other medications. This makes it a suitable choice for individuals who may be sensitive to certain medications
  • Short treatment duration: With a recommended treatment duration of just 25 days, Cytisine offers a relatively short course of therapy compared to other smoking cessation medications

As with any medication, it is important to be aware of potential side effects. Common side effects of Cytisine may include nausea, vomiting, constipation, and sleep disturbances. These side effects are generally mild and resolve over time. However, individuals should consult with their healthcare provider if they experience any concerning or persistent side effects.

The role of Cytisine in stop smoking aid programs

Cytisine can be an important component of comprehensive smoking cessation programs. These programs typically involve a combination of behavioural support and medication intervention to maximize the chances of successful quitting. Cytisine, with its proven efficacy and cost-effectiveness, can be a valuable addition to the range of treatment options available to healthcare professionals and individuals seeking to quit smoking.

Conclusion

Cytisine is a smoking cessation medication that offers a promising solution for individuals looking to quit smoking. With its mechanism of action as a nicotine receptor partial agonist, Cytisine helps alleviate nicotine withdrawal symptoms and reduce the rewarding effects of tobacco. The recent launch of Cytisine 1.5mg tablets in the U.K. provides healthcare professionals and individuals with an additional option for smoking cessation treatment.

It is important for individuals considering Cytisine to consult with their healthcare provider to determine if it is a suitable option for their specific needs. By combining Cytisine with behavioral support and a comprehensive smoking cessation plan, individuals can increase their chances of successfully quitting smoking and improving their overall health and well-being.

Sources

Medical Disclaimer

NowPatient has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that all material is factually accurate, complete, and current. However, the knowledge and experience of a qualified healthcare professional should always be sought after instead of using the information in this page. Before taking any drug, you should always speak to your doctor or another qualified healthcare provider.

The information provided here about medications is subject to change and is not meant to include all uses, precautions, warnings, directions, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or negative effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a particular medication does not imply that the medication or medication combination is appropriate for all patients or for all possible purposes.

What is NowPatient

Telehealth and Online Pharmacy

NowPatient is a licensed online pharmacy and doctor service that is available around the world. Our service is FREE and packed with valuable features that can benefit your health such as medication reminders, educational blogs, medically approved symptoms checker, UK NHS online pharmacyprivate treatment plansRx Advantage cardhealth conditions information, affordable medications options, genetic testinghome test kitshealth riskspollen meterair quality monitor, weight loss plans, drug savings checker and lots more!

See how we are different
Laptop showing nowpatients app dashboard

WHY WE BUILT NOWPATIENT

To improve the lives of everyone by making high-quality care accessible and convenient

We are here to improve lives. Our service gives you access to smart features and resources that can help empower you to take control of your health and improve your health outcomes. All this, in one place, for FREE. We strive to bring a fresh perspective to managing health. NowPatient can be accessed by downloading the App or using your web browser.

Download our app today

A man and woman in a video call on an iphone.

Can I trust NowPatient

Meet our medical team

We are a passionate group of clinicians and medical writers covering a broad range of specialities with experience operating in health systems in the United Kingdom & United States. Providing excellent care and advice is at the heart of everything we do. You can read more about our medical team by visiting the medical team page or learn more about how we curate content by visiting our editorial process

Your Questions Answered

For your peace of mind, we can answer your questions quickly

We have a comprehensive list of FAQ’s on each feature page. Alternatively, for broader questions around our service just click the button below.
Find your answers