Smoking, Champix & Vasoconstriction

There was an article published today about the negative effects of Champix (varenicline) when used as a smoking cessation aid, and I include a link to one of many reports on the subject.

It’s my opinion that the mechanism behind nicotine addiction lies in the vasoconstrictive effect of smoking. I’m sure I’ve written about this many times before, so sorry to harp on about it. If you accept my hypothesis that something which maintains an artificial level of vasoconstriction (like smoking) will prevent psychosis & mania, but promote depression in those susceptible, and you understand the length of duration of action of smoking in this respect, you can begin to see how smoking offers some kind of protection against this. Whilst it’s common amongst those who have quit smoking to experience anxiety and agitation (perhaps even hypomania), it’s also not uncommon for a small percentage of the population to have experienced their initial psychosis  following their attempt to quit smoking (when the artificial stabilization of blood vessel tone has been removed).

Champix is well known to trigger depression and suicidal feelings in some who are taking it as a smoking cessation aid.

I suggest that the mechanism by which Champix aids smoking cessation is by causing vasoconstriction in some of the same blood vessels which are affected by smoking cigarettes, thus taking away the desire to smoke. However (and you may need to read one of my earlier posts about the states of blood vessel tone and their possible link to mental states), this vasoconstriction may be pushing them towards depression, perhaps by reducing blood flow in certain parts of the brain. Think low blood flow to brain structures though vasoconstriction = parts “turned off” = depression.

I’m pretty sure that this is the mechanism behind addiction. I remember reading anecdotally that some people who use certain recreational drugs, for example the recently outlawed mephedrone, which has a powerful vasoconstrictive effect, report that their desire to smoke during the drug experience diminishes or disappears completely.

Would be interesting if someone could look into this further….






~ by funnyinthehead on November 3, 2011.

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