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Psychiatr Danub. 2018 Jun;30(Suppl 4):216-223.

Smoking in Schizophrenia: an Updated Review.

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Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Centre Zagreb, Kispaticeva 12, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia,


Patients with schizophrenia continue to have the highest rate of both smoking and heavy nicotine dependence. The interaction between smoking and schizophrenia is complex. There is evidence of the shared genetic background. Recent preclinical and clinical research has further investigated self-medication hypothesis, given that nicotine might alleviate cortical dysfunction. While prior research indicated some favorable effects of smoking on cognitive performance, particulatly on attention/vigilance, recent studies did not confirm those findings. Lower severity of negative symptoms in smokers was not confirmed across studies. Cigarette smoking decreases clozapine and olanzapine concentrations. There is no consistent evidence of favorable effects of nicotine on symptoms in schizophrenia, but the evidence of detrimental effects of smoking on general health is highly consistent. Smoking cessation should be a priority in patients with schizophrenia.

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