The Effect of Nicotine Patch Therapy on Depression in Nonsmokers: A Preliminary Study

Lisa Sanderson Cox, Christi A. Patten, Lois E. Krahn, Richard D. Hurt, Ivana T. Croghan, Troy D. Wolter, Darrell R. Schroeder, Diane Tri, Kenneth P. Offord

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Prior uncontrolled studies of nonsmokers with major depressive disorder (MDD) indicate rapid reduction in depressive symptoms with nicotine patch therapy. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study examined the effect of nicotine patch therapy on depressive symptoms in non-medicated nonsmokers with current MDD. Due to recruitment difficulties, only 7 were enrolled and of these 6 (5 females, 1 male) completed the study. Participants received either placebo (n = 4) or active (n = 2) patch therapy for 8 days. They completed daily clinic visits during patch therapy and a final visit on Day 12. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD). The mean change in HRSD scores of all participants decreased (p = 0.021) from baseline by Day 1 of patch use. Similar decreases in HRSD scores were observed for placebo and active patch groups. Among the placebo participants, the mean HRSD score decreased (p = 0.038) by Day 2. The study needs replication with a larger sample and utilizing novel recruitment strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-85
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Addictive Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2003


  • Depression
  • Nicotine
  • Nicotine patch therapy
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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