Clonidine hydrochloride has been reported to reduce tobacco withdrawal symptoms and facilitate smoking cessation. We enrolled 185 subjects, 92 receiving clonidine and 93 receiving placebo, in a randomized, double-blind study of clonidine for smoking cessation in a primary care setting. Clonidine had no demonstrable effect on withdrawal (8 of 11 measures favoring placebo). At 4 weeks, 17 (18%) subjects receiving clonidine had quit compared with 13 (14%) receiving placebo (χ2 = 0.7; 90% confidence interval of benefit from clonidine, —4% to 13%). At 4 weeks, the mean number of cigarettes smoked was 17.7 for those receiving clonidine and 17.5 for those receiving placebo (t=0.1; 90% confidence interval of benefit from clonidine, —4.1 to 3.7 cigarettes per day). These results provide little support for a beneficial effect of clonidine on tobacco withdrawal symptoms, quitting, or smoking reduction in a primary care setting.
Franks P, Harp J, Bell B. Randomized, Controlled Trial of Clonidine for Smoking Cessation in a Primary Care Setting. JAMA. 1989;262(21):3011–3013. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430210053029