Nicotine Withdrawal

Millions of people know from personal experience that smoking is a tough habit to kick. The reason is that nicotine is addictive. Even though nicotine’s high isn’t as dramatic as cocaine or heroin’s, it’s equally as addictive as those illegal drugs.

And nicotine withdrawal is very real. It’s why so many smokers try many times before they finally quit for good.

Nicotine affects all areas of your body, from your heart and blood vessels to your hormones, metabolism, and brain. When you don’t have it anymore, you go through withdrawal. You’ll physically crave that nicotine hit and become irritable if you can’t have it.

Nicotine withdrawal usually lasts only a month or so, but you could be fighting the mental battle against cigarettes for a long time.


Cluster Number:
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World Patients:
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Brain Area: binding to nicotinic receptors in the brain, increasing dopamine; opiate, serotonic, glutamic and other receptors apply in withdrawal
Symptoms: nicotine cravings, irritability, anxiety and difficulty concentrating; symptoms usually disappear after four weeks.
Causes: genetics may affect the severity of withdrawal
Medications: several medications can be used
Therapies: increased exercise, avoiding “smoking situations,” avoiding temptations, friend-support


The world-wide medical research
reports chosen for each diagnosis 

Clicking each title opens the
PubMed article’s summary-abstract.

  • Novel rapid-acting sublingual nicotine tablet as a cigarette substitution strategy
    by Jed E Rose on June 29, 2022

    CONCLUSIONS: The novel SL tablet studied shows promise as a nicotine substitution strategy for tobacco harm reduction and smoking cessation treatment. Additional studies are warranted to further investigate the potential of this new approach.

  • Misconfigured striatal connectivity profiles in smokers
    by Cole Korponay on June 25, 2022

    Dysregulation of frontal cortical inputs to the striatum is foundational in the neural basis of substance use disorder (SUD). Neuroanatomical and electrophysiological data increasingly show that striatal nodes receive appreciable input from numerous cortical areas, and that the combinational properties of these multivariate "connectivity profiles" play a predominant role in shaping striatal activity and function. Yet, how abnormal configuration of striatal connectivity profiles might contribute...

  • Circulating ghrelin changes as a biomarker of the stress response and craving in abstinent smokers
    by Sheena Potretzke on June 24, 2022

    CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study demonstrate that ghrelin is sensitive to acute manipulation of stress and that there is potential usefulness for ghrelin as a marker of stress, craving, and smoking lapse.

  • Tobacco cessation treatment for people with schizophrenia
    by Christos Papachristou on June 23, 2022

    Among patients suffering from schizophrenia, tobacco smoking prevalence is extremely high and represents a major burden in terms of morbidity and mortality. Tobacco smoking is under-diagnosed and under-treated by mental health professionals, mostly due to an overestimated risk of jeopardizing the patient's mental condition, but also due to a lack of expertise on tobacco cessation treatment. Despite the extent of this problem, pharmacological approaches haven't been studied enough. However,...