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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Mecamylamine (a nicotine antagonist) for smoking cessation

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, April 1998
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About this Attention Score

  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (55th percentile)

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Mecamylamine (a nicotine antagonist) for smoking cessation
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, April 1998
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd001009
Pubmed ID

Tim Lancaster, Lindsay F Stead


Mecamylamine is a nicotine antagonist (that is it blocks the effect of nicotine). The rationale for its use in smoking cessation is that it may block the rewarding effect of nicotine and thus reduce the urge to smoke. The objective of this review was to determine the effectiveness of mecamylamine in promoting smoking cessation, either alone or in combination with nicotine replacement therapy. We searched the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group trials register. Randomised trials of mecamylamine, either alone or in combination with nicotine replacement therapy, which reported smoking cessation rates at least six months after intervention. We extracted data in duplicate on the type of subjects, the dose and duration of the mecamylamine and nicotine treatments, side-effects of treatment, the outcome measures, method of randomisation, and completeness of follow-up. The main outcome measure was sustained abstinence from smoking (biochemically validated) after at least six months follow-up in patients smoking at baseline. Smokers lost to follow-up were regarded as being continuing smokers. Because of the preliminary nature of available data, we did not perform meta-analysis but report the results narratively. We identified two studies, both from the same investigators. In a study of 48 volunteers, a combination of mecamylamine plus nicotine patch was more effective than nicotine patch alone (abstinence rate at one year 37.5% vs 4.2%). In a second study, 80 volunteers were treated for four weeks prior to cessation with one of four treatments: 1. Nicotine patch plus mecamylamine capsules 2. Nicotine alone 3. Mecamylamine alone 4. No active drug. All four groups received combination treatment with nicotine and mecamylamine after the scheduled quit date. The abstinence rates in these four groups were respectively 40%, 20%, 15% and 15%. The higher abstinence rate in the group treated with combination therapy was not statistically significant. The authors reported a statistically significant benefit of mecamylamine using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. In the doses used, mecamylamine was well tolerated, although up to 40% of subjects required reductions in dose, usually because of constipation. Data from two small studies suggest that the combination of nicotine and mecamylamine may be superior to nicotine alone in promoting smoking cessation. However, these results require confirmation in larger studies before the treatment can be recommended clinically.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 87 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 1 1%
Unknown 86 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 14 16%
Student > Bachelor 12 14%
Student > Doctoral Student 7 8%
Student > Ph. D. Student 7 8%
Student > Master 7 8%
Other 16 18%
Unknown 24 28%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 22 25%
Psychology 13 15%
Social Sciences 5 6%
Nursing and Health Professions 3 3%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 3 3%
Other 13 15%
Unknown 28 32%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 3. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 08 November 2019.
All research outputs
of 21,353,399 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 12,049 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 296,314 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 175 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 21,353,399 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 44th percentile – i.e., 44% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,049 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 29.0. This one is in the 21st percentile – i.e., 21% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 296,314 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 55% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 175 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 16th percentile – i.e., 16% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.