A preliminary placebo-controlled trial of selegiline
hydrochloride for smoking cessation

George TP, Vessicchio JC, Termine A, Jatlow PI, Kosten TR, O'Malley SS.
Program for Research in Smokers with Mental Illness (PRISM)
(TPG, JCV, AT), New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Biol Psychiatry 2003 Jan 15;53(2):136-43


Since dopaminergic mechanisms appear to be involved in nicotine dependence, we studied the safety and efficacy of the monoamine oxidase B inhibitor selegiline hydrochloride compared with placebo for smoking cessation in nicotine-dependent cigarette smokers.Forty subjects with DSM-IV nicotine dependence were randomized to: 1) selegiline hydrochloride (5 mg p.o. twice daily) or 2) placebo in an 8-week trial. Outcome measures included smoking cessation rates, treatment retention, and medication side effects.Selegiline hydrochloride increased trial end point (week 8) 7-day point prevalence smoking cessation rates (selegiline hydrochloride, 9/20 [45.0%]; placebo, 3/20 [15.0%], odds ratio = 4.64, 95% CI, 1.02-21.00, p <.05), and smoking cessation rates during the last 4 weeks of the trial (selegiline hydrochloride, 6/20 [30.0%]; placebo, 1/20 [5.0%], odds ratio = 8.14, 95% CI, 0.88-75.48, p =.07) in comparison with placebo. Six-month follow-up 7-day point prevalence smoking cessation rates were reduced compared with trial end point (selegiline hydrochloride, 4/20 [20.0%]; placebo, 1/20 [5.0%], odds ratio = 4.75, 95% CI, 0.48-46.91, p =.18). Treatment retention was similar between drug and placebo groups (p =.13), and selegiline hydrochloride was well tolerated in cigarette smokers.This preliminary study suggests that selegiline (10 mg/day) is safe for use and enhances smoking cessation rates compared with placebo in nicotine-dependent cigarette smokers.

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