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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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