Cytisine – Use | Dose | Side Effects

Cytisine is a drug that belongs to the group of medicines used to treat nicotine addiction (tobacco addiction). It has a very similar effect as nicotine, but it is much less toxic and much safer to use than nicotine and therefore it is one of the best quit smoking product.

This medicine reduces the binding of nicotine to nicotinic receptors thereby gradually reduces nicotine dependence. It is obtained from one plant and belongs to the group of alkaloids.


Cytisine tablets should be avoided in patients with heart diseases, considering that this medicine stimulates the release of adrenaline, which increases the blood pressure. It should be avoided in patients with high blood pressure, angina pectoris, heart attack, arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) or other heart diseases.

This medicine should not be used in patients who have had a stroke, as well as in patients with a mental disorder.

This medicine should be avoided in patients with a pheochromocytoma (adrenal gland tumors), because it may cause epinephrine (adrenaline) to be released.

This medicine should be used only with extra precautions in the following conditions:

  • In patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • In patients with diabetes
  • Patients with thyroid diseases
  • In patients with liver or kidney diseases

Keep in mind that you will also need willpower to quit smoking, regardles of use of this medicine.

This drug can cause drowsiness, so it is recommended to avoid driving and operating machines while using this medicine.

Use during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Cytisine should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding due to the lack of data.

How to use

It is important to follow your doctor insturctions how to use this medicine.


Day Dose
1-3 day One tablet every 2 hours (6 times per day), with the omission of the night doses
4-12 day One tablet per day every 150 minutes (5 times per day)
13-16 day


One tablet every three hours (4 times per day)
17-20 day


One tablet every five hours (three times per day)
21-25 day


One or two tablets per day


Complete cessation is to be expected on the fifth day from the date of starting the therapy. If there is no improvement, discontinue use and you can try again after 3 months.

After completing treatment, the patient must not start using nicotine products again. You need strong willpower.

Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water. Do not crush or chew the tablet. It can be taken regardless of food, because food does not affect this medicine.

Use with other medicines (Interactions)

Cytisine should be avoided in combination with the following medicines:

  • Drugs used to treat heart disease
  • Drugs used to treat tuberculosis
  • Drugs used for the treatment of high cholesterol levels, such as:
    • simvastatin (Cholipam, Vasilip),
    • atorvastatin (Atoris),
    • pravastatin,
    • rosuvastatin,
    • lovastatin, and others. Concomitant use of Cytisine with these drugs, increases the risk of rhabdomyolysis (serious breakdown of muscle tissue).

This drug must not be used in combination with alcoholic beverages.

Tell your doctor about all medications and herbal products you are taking.

Side effects

Cytisine may cause the following side effects:

  1. nausea,
  2. vomiting,
  3. abdominal pain,
  4. diarrhea,
  5. taste disorders,
  6. rapid heartbeat (tachycardia),
  7. high blood pressure,
  8. headache,
  9. dizziness,
  10. drowsiness,
  11. chest pain,
  12. sweating,
  13. allergy and other.

Tell your doctor if you are experiencing any side effects.

Cytisine is well tolerated and side effects are usually mild and transient.


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