The Effect of Aripiprazole on Smoking Rate in Schizophrenic Patients
Background :Ventral Tegmental Area dopaminergic neurons are the pathway strengthening the use of psychoactive substances including nicotine. Dopamine over activity in this pathway could be a reason for using the substances. As a second generation antipsychotic with a dopamine partial agonistic activity, it seems that Aripiprazole could reduce substance use by adjusting dopamine in the mentioned pathway. Among schizophrenic patients smoking and consequent cardiovascular diseases are more common compared with general population. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of Aripiprazole on smoking rate of schizophrenic patients.
Methods :This is a randomized triple blind parallel clinical trial in which 40 schizophrenic patients were divided in two intervention and control groups. The intervention group received 10mg Aripiprazole on daily basis while the control group received placebo. In both groups smoking rate was measured before and after the study using a standard instrument (Fagerstrom Tolerance Questionnaire) and the obtained data was compared and statistically analyzed by SPSS.
Results :There was no significant difference between the groups regarding age, duration of illness, duration of nicotine dependency and other demographic variables. The average FTQ score of the intervention group was 8 and 6.47 before and after taking Aripiprazole, respectively, indicating a significant decrease; but in the control group, it was 7.57 and 7.15 before and after receiving placebo, respectively indicating no significant decrease. The average decline in FTQ score during the study was 1.53 and 0.42 in the intervention and control groups, respectively which was statistically significant.
Conclusion :According to this study, Aripiprazole decreased the rate of nicotine dependency in male schizophrenic patients. This study has been registered in IR Iran clinical trials website under registration code: IRCT2013010512018N1 .