Drugs Profile: Nicotine

Mode of action





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  • Created by: Issy H
  • Created on: 09-06-12 15:59

Mode of Action

  • Nicotine enters the body and is transported to every cell in the body via the blood stream. 
  • Nicotine arrives at the synapse and binds to the acetylcholine receptors.
  • This binding causes the receptor to open allowing ions to flood the post synaptic cleft causing noradrenaline to rise. Nicotine mimics acetylecholine. 
  • This causes neural firing of acetylcholine, which has an effect as it reaches the reward pathway
  • The positive relaxing and reduce of anxiety is felt as the reward pathway is stimulated by endorphins.  
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Short term:

  • buring in the mouth
  • sickness/stomach pains
  • diahorrea
  • agitation
  • dizziness and headaches
  • increased blood pressure
  • decrese in anxiety
  • improves memory/attention

Long term:

  • reduce lung efficeny
  • reduce heart efficieny
  • cancerous
  • internal buring
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Physical Dependance:

  • Tolerance is reached rapidly
  • Brain changes occur to accept nictoine in the body.
  • Cravings

Psychological Dependance:

  • Become used to oral stimulation
  • Cravings
  • Strong postive reinforcement
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  • The body produces more acetylcholine receptors to deal with increased acetylcholine. Tolerance is increased only after a few days of exposure. 
  • The plateau is reached very quickly, increasing to a high level of nicotine intake. 
  • Increased consumption of nicotine means that individuals become addicted very quickly. 
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  • desire for oral gratification
  • poor concetration
  • increased anxiety
  • memory problems
  • depression
  • sleeping issues
  • increased appetite
  • headaches
  • (opposite to the effects of nicotine)
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