Transdermal clonidine for smoking cessation: A double-blind randomized dose-response study

Raymond Niaura, Richard A. Brown, Michael G. Goldstein, Joseph K. Murphy, David B. Abrams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A 4-week trial tested the effects of 4 doses (placebo, 0.1 mg/d, 0.2 mg/d, and 0.3 mg/d) of transdermal clonidine on smoking cessation and nicotine withdrawal. After a 1-week baseline, smokers (N = 72) started the drug and tried to quit by Week 3. Significantly fewer smokers who received a placebo were abstinent at 5 days after quitting as compared with smokers who received clonidine at any dose (19% vs. 57%, respectively, p = .007). Blood clonidine concentration interacted with nicotine dependence (p < .05): High-dependence smokers who achieved higher blood clonidine concentrations survived longer before smoking a cigarette after quitting, as compared with high-dependence smokers who achieved lower blood levels. Changes from baseline in heart rate, blood pressure, appetite, irritability, and anxiety were inversely associated with blood clonidine concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-291
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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