Pharmacotherapies: Efficacy, Mechanisms and Algorithms
The “Wisconsin Smokers’ Health Study” (WSHS) compared five pharmacotherapies head-to-head and with placebo. The medications were:
· Nicotine patch.
· Nicotine lozenge.
· Bupropion (Zyban).
· Nicotine patch plus lozenge.
· Bupropion plus lozenge.
Project 1 also included extensive assessments—including physical, psychological, social, genetic and lifestyle. These included treadmill and ultrasound tests.
These tests helped determine how the medications work and how to tailor treatments to individuals. Researchers were collecting an extensive set of assessments on participants, such as genotypes, personality, diet, alcohol use/abuse, social relations, quality of life, exercise, smoking, withdrawal symptoms, stress, nicotine dependence as well as continuous and categorical measures of psychiatric symptoms and diagnoses.
The treadmill test was one of many tests in TTURC 2 designed to look at each participant’s overall health.
Assessments served four purposes:
1. Measure treatment outcomes.
2. Assess how treatments work.
3. Develop an algorithm to assign the best tobacco treatments to individual smokers.
4. Serve as baseline measures for Project 2 “Long-term Outcomes.”
The researchers hoped to break new ground with discoveries that helped healthcare providers treat not just the tobacco use – but the patient as a “whole person” over an extended timeframe.