Thursday, January 14, 2010

How Cigarette Smoking Causes Disease and Amputation of Fingers, Arms, and Legs!

Nicotine itself is not addictive, but it is responsible for releasing dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reinforcements in the brain, thus inducing addictive tendencies in humans. Nicotine is a chemical found in tobacco leaf, the main ingredient in cigarettes and is said to cause addiction and disease in cigarette smokers, (World Health Organization (WHO)).

Nicotine mimics the activities of acetylcholine, a naturally occurring neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and the nerve-muscle junction of skeletal muscles. Acetylcholine is responsible for excitability, which causes increase heart rate, alertness, and reaction times. Because acetylcholine and nicotine are chemically similar, they trigger the same cholinergic receptors in the brain. The nicotine-acetylcholine receptors consist of nerve endings that release dopamine when coupled or bind with nicotine or acetylcholine. Receptors are like cups having the exact dimensions that will fit a neurotransmitter molecule, such as acetylcholine.

The cup itself is lined with nerve endings (tips of neurons). It is these nerve endings that release dopamine when the neurotransmitter acetylcholine binds with the cup-like acetylcholine receptors (cholinergic receptors). A reinforcing and reward phenomenon of dopamine develops because the dopamine that is released from the nerve endings initiates a feeling of pleasure in the individual’s brain. The reinforcement mechanism is initiated when the brain becomes addicted to the pleasure caused by the dopamine that is released from the cholinergic receptors. This means that the brain is constantly seeking to be pleasured. So, what will happen in the case of cigarette smokers is that they will continue to smoke cigarettes so the nicotine from the cigarette can induce the release of dopamine in the brain, causing them to feel happy every time they smoke a cigarette.

The first time cigarette smokers smoked cigarettes there were only a few cholinergic receptors available because the natural action of acetylcholine only needs the normal amount of receptors provided by nature to do its job. However, the increase concentration of nicotine available caused the normal amounts of cholinergic receptors to become desensitized to the presence of the increased number of nicotine in the cholinergic receptors. This desensitization causes the production or growth and development of more cholinergic receptors. These extra cholinergic receptors will soon become desensitized from the excess nicotine available. Such processes occur until equilibrium is reached. Equilibrium is reached when cigarette smokers decide on the amount of cigarettes they will consume or smoke in a given day. At this time, a fixed amount of receptors will be available for the addiction to continue. Smokers will normally say they smoke one or two packs per day. They said so because of the amount of receptors available to accommodate two packs of cigarettes in a day.

A detrimental effect of all this is the fact that such large amounts of cholinergic receptors are now available and hungry for nicotine. So, they can stimulate dopamine to pleasure the cigarette smoker. This is the reason why cigarette smokers have a very difficult time quitting. The best approach therefore for a cigarette smoker to use in quitting is to gradually cut back on the amount of cigarettes smoked in a given time interval.

In addition to the dopamine-inducing effect of nicotine, is the speeding-up of the heart rate by nicotine every time a cigarette is smoked. From a medical perspective, constantly having an artificial increase in heart rate isn’t a great idea either. For one thing, a constant increase in heart rate by drugs such as nicotine can cause heart disease, (WHO).

According to the World Health Organization, tobacco use leads to diseases affecting the heart and lungs, such as heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, and cancer. Most cigarette induced cancers are lung cancer, cancers of the larynx, mouth, and pancreas. Cigarette smoke also causes myocardial infarctions, peripheral vascular disease and hypertension. The World Health Organization estimates that tobacco is responsible for about 5.4 million deaths in 2004 and about 100 million deaths during the 20th century.

In addition to its addictive effects on the central nervous system, cigarette smoke contains a multitude of cancer-causing agents. They work by binding to DNA causing many genetic mutations. Nicotine could be the main culprit that is doing the binding to DNA causing genetic mutations, which leads to cancer. Nicotine is said to disrupt the natural processes of apoptosis (programmed cell death) by binding to DNA in cells, (National Institute of Health (NIH)). Defective cells consist of junk DNA and other waste materials. When apoptosis is inhibited, natural cell death does not occur; instead, defective cells are allowed to proliferate or grow larger, uncontrollably. This is what happens in cancer and the main reason why cigarette smokers are more susceptible to developing cancers.

When apoptosis is uncontrollably triggered by chemicals, such as nicotine, it causes normal cells to die off. This could possibly be what is happening in the heart tissues of cigarette smokers who suffer from heart disease and could also be what is taking place in the extremities of cigarette smokers, who often complain of excessive coldness in their fingers, arms, toes, and legs, where circulation is lowest.

There are no existing studies to support this exact explanation. However, based on the knowledge of known scientific evidence of apoptosis and the increase in death rates of cigarette smokers, this hypothetical explanation has some credence; and will continue to have credence until proven otherwise! There is something deadly that is happening to cigarette smokers and nicotine is one of the agents behind it.

The tar in cigarette smoke is also an agent that sucks the life out of cigarette smokers. The lung of a cigarette smoker is as black as the color of asphalt. It is like a severe piece of burnt pot roast. This is why most cigarette smokers have difficulty breathing. It is next to impossible for air to pass freely down the airways of smokers. The sad thing is that it is difficult for cigarette smokers to quit. So, they continue down the road of destruction, day after day, puffing on the silent killer--cigarette smoking.

One very important solution to quitting smoking is smoking one less cigarette a day or even one less cigarette in a month if one less cigarette a day is too steep of an adjustment to the deadly habit. If one normally smokes a pack of cigarettes a day, that individual should remove one of those cigarettes and discard it--throw it in the trash can. Remember that the smoking of cigarettes started gradually. No one started smoking a pack of cigarettes a day in that awful beginning stage of smoking cigarettes. Smoking one less cigarette per a particular time frame will help eliminate the excessive cholinergic receptors that nicotine so dearly craves.

Wellbutrin is another method for helping people stop smoking. Wellbutrin is an Antidepressant drug used by people with depression. However, it is very potent in helping people kick the deadly habit of cigarette smoking. It can be taken while smoking, unlike other smoking cessation agents. Wellbutrin blocks nicotine receptors and weakens the action of dopamine reuptake by neurons.

Cigarette smokers who are interested in quitting should implement an exercise program in their schedule because the lack of nicotine in ex-cigarette smokers causes weight-gain. How do we know this? Former cigarette smokers who kicked the habit complain of putting on weight after they quit smoking. Ask any ex-cigarette smoker. One will hear the same thing. Nicotine induces weight-loss in smokers. This is why most cigarette smokers are skinny or slim. If a cigarette smoker is overweight while smoking cigarettes, then that person should definitely seek medical attention because there could be a very dangerous medical condition lurking in the shadows.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wellbutrin: Pros and Cons

Wellbutrin, also known by its scientific name Bupropion, is a very popular antidepressant. It inhibits the reuptake of both dopamine and norepinephrine. If you have never used Wellbutrin before, you need to familiarize yourself with the drug interactions and the side effects associated with it.

Wellbutrin is metabolized by the liver. In lab experiments performed with rats, the drug was found to cause hepatocellular hypertrophy when administed in high doses (hypertrophy is an increase in the size of the cells). Common side effects include agitation, dizziness, hypertension, dry mouth, tremors, anxiety, loss of appetite, headache, excessive sweating, increased risk of seizure, and insomnia.

Although with the recommended dosing of the drug the probability that a seizure will occur is extremely small, patients using it should still be screened for any health factors that could contribute to or increase the likelihood of a seizure. A doctor may also review other prescriptions the patient might be taking and recommend an appropriate dosage based on that information.

Also, suicidal thoughts and attempts have been reported in children and adolescents. Bupropion has been shown to increase the incidence of suicidal thoughts amongst children and adolescents. When treating major depression in this group of patients, clinical benefits should be weighed carefully against the potential hazards. Usually, Bupropion is not intended for patients under the age of 18.

Another potential side effect is an improvement in sexual function. Bupropion, unlike serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Prozac, does not appear to reduce the libido of the patient, and more frequently enhances sexual desire. Patients who complain of an impairment in their sex drive as a result of their SSRI have sometimes been prescribed small Doses of Wellbutrin to correct it.

One controversy associated with Bupropion is its propensity to lower the seizure threshold. In combination with other medicines, it has been suspected to cause seizures in some patients who have never had a seizure before.[12] While this is not common, an increase in the number of such cases around the globe probably merits further discussion and investigation.

It is not uncommon for patients to receive treatment with other antidepressant prescriptions in combination with Wellbutrin. For this reason, a doctor should be careful when prescribing it with other medications prone to lowering the seizure threshold. Bupropion has also been known to produce seizures in combination with non-illegal drugs such as cocaine and recreational drugs such as alcohol.

I hope you have found this information helpful. Be sure to disclose to your physician any other drugs you might be taking before requesting a Prescrtiption for Wellbutrin. Although some of the side effects and drug interactions we have covered are rare, they can happen unexpectedly to even the most healthy individuals.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wellbutrin For Depression: When It's More Than Just The Blues

We all have blue days:

We need someone we lost, the promotion should not come through, we spent our holidays. But when those feelings for a long time and begin to intervene in your life, May you have an illness that doctors call major depressive disorder (or depression).

Depression is not something you can just leave. "It is caused by an imbalance of chemicals in your brain, like diabetes, cancer or other serious medical problem, depression needs treatment for you to be well again.

How do I know if I'm not just having a bad day?

Symptoms of depression sometimes creep up on their victim. May they be triggered by a difficult event (divorce, birth, or job loss), making it difficult to see where sadness ends and natural cases of depression begins. But over time, these symptoms become distinctive. They include feeling sad or "flat," unexplained changes in eating or sleeping, feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness or guilt, loss of pleasure in things you used to love (if it is your work or flying kites with the kids), and sometimes thoughts of death or suicide.

In the middle of an episode of depression, in May, it is difficult to see and clearly identify the symptoms of depression. A spouse or close friend May you mention do not seem like you, or maybe you've noticed that you are not working as you used to. If so, your doctor is an objective to discuss with the person about how you feel, and if you suffer from depression.

But I have heard that antidepressants are dangerous!

Although some people have unusual May of mood modifying drugs, most modern drugs for treating depression are safe and effective.

Wellbutrin, an antidepressant, relatively new, is one of these drugs. It works by affecting chemicals that changed in your brain to cause feelings of depression. Unlike other antidepressants, it is more likely to make you feel "alert" rather than "soft". It is also less likely to cause sexual side effects and weight gain than other antidepressants.

Talk to your doctor

One of the hardest parts of depression is that in May you feel helpless or exhausted and thus have difficulties in motivation to see a doctor. If you can, ask a friend or loved one to help arrange an appointment. When you visit your doctor, it will help you sort through your symptoms. It will also check whether other medications you're on (like MAO inhibitors or nicotine patches) might interact with Wellbutrin. If you have had a history of convulsions, in May it also suggest another drug.

But if Wellbutrin is in harmony with your life and your health, it will enter an order, you can fill at Your Pharmacy or even online! Once you've started taking it in May take some time before the effect is apparent (remember, this is a mild antidepressant. If this does not work after a few weeks, contact your doctor to talk about a dose adjustment.

You should also contact your doctor if you begin to significant side effects, especially if they get worse over time. These include symptoms of anxiety (like sweating, difficulty sleeping, and dry mouth) or significant loss of appetite.

As Wellbutrin readjusts chemicals in your brain, you should begin to feel more active and interested in your life. Best of all, you are back to yourself - with your own natural highs and lows - the person that your family and friends and love!

Ian Mason, owner of Shoppe.MD, your source for Wellbutrin and freedom of the depression forum to help you spend as much time.

Ian is a fat good student of health, weight loss, exercise, and several martial arts, keeping several sites in an effort to help provide updated and useful information for d others who share his interests in health of body and mind.

Depression: Zyban, Wellbutrin

Both Wellbutrin and Zyban are the brand of drugs containing the same active ingredient, which is Bupropion. Bupropion can be used as an antidepressant and as an aid to quit smoking.

As an antidepressant, it is sold under the brand name Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR and Wellbutrin XL. It is used to treat major depression and seasonal affective disorder or SAD, as well as certain other conditions. No one really understands how it works, but its beneficial effects are due to its ability to inhibit the reuptake of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, and to a much lesser extent, serotonin, which causes an increase of these chemicals in the brain . These chemicals have an impact on our moods and increased levels of these neurotransmitters, it is possible to relieve the symptoms of depression.

As smoking cessation aid under the name Zyban, it appears to work by reducing nicotine cravings and symptoms of nicotine. It also helps to prevent weight gain unwanted, that often accompanies quitting. One thing to remember when taking Zyban is that it is important to take it earlier in the day to help prevent insomnia at night and both doses are taken, we must take eight hours after the first for the first should be taken in the morning.

As with all medicines, there are some factors to consider before taking Bupropion, including possible side effects and against indications, which may have an impact if it is an appropriate treatment for you or not.

Bupropion

If you are prescribed Zyban or Wellbutrin, it is essential that you inform your doctor of any medication you take as there are a number of other drugs and substances that may interact with bupropion, and that includes prescription drugs , herbal remedies, vitamins and over against cough preparations such as medicines etc.

You must also inform your doctor if you drink much alcohol, coffee or other drinks containing caffeine if you smoke or use illicit drugs, if you are taking sedatives or MAOIs (monoamine inhibitors oxidase), or any other medicines containing bupropion, and if you have a medical complaint. In particular, the physician should be fully aware, if you suffer or have suffered from one of the following conditions that Bupropion May not be appropriate or May only be appropriate at a reduced dose:
  • epilepsy
  • Eating disorders
  • Brain Tumor
  • Kidney failure
  • hepatic
  • alcoholism
  • A head injury or trauma
  • Insomnia
  • An allergic reaction to Bupropion
  • Diabetes
  • suicidal thoughts
  • Tourettes Syndrome
  • Heart disease
You must also inform your doctor if you are pregnant or currently trying to conceive or if you are breast-feeding or if you are due to undergo surgery or other treatment in the near future.

Side effects

Some side effects are more frequent than others and there are some that are more serious than others. Side effects associated with Bupropion may include:
  • Dry mouth
  • Changes in taste
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Tremor
  • Agitation
  • Dizziness
  • Increased perspiration
  • Weight loss
  • Mania, hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • irregular heartbeat or palpitations
  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rash and eczema, urticaria
  • increased blood pressure
  • Difficulty breathing or wheezing
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • swelling of the face, tongue and throat
You should inform your doctor immediately if you have big changes in mood or behavior, especially if you feel depressed or have suicidal thoughts, and if you feel too agitated, hostile, anxious or hyperactive, and if you having trouble sleeping.

You must also obtain emergency medical care if you have trouble breathing, if your face, tongue and throat began to swell, if you have a convulsion if you experience rapid heartbeat or irregular or if you develop hives or severe skin eruptions.

Other important points

Wellbutrin and Zyban Both should be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. This means that you should not increase or decrease the dose unless your doctor tells you to do so, especially, do not suddenly stop taking the drug because it can have serious side effects. If you forget to take an hour, take it as soon as you remember again, unless it is almost time for you to take the next dose, if so, just take the next dose as usual and not taking the penalty that you forgot.

It is important to note that drinking lots of alcohol and other drugs take once you begin taking bupropion may increase the risk of seizures and other side effects, such as the launch or the sudden alcohol and other drugs, including Bupropion stop it, it is not advisable to make any changes whatsoever, without first seeking medical advice.