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  1. Click on the green "Back To Get Started" button, then click "Start Consultation" button on the next page.
  2. Fill in our short consultation form.
  3. Choose delivery method and mode of payment.
  4. Our team of expert prescribers will assess whether medication is suitable.
  5. If you get the green light and it is deemed suitable, your order will be processed quickly and efficiently.
Confidential Service

Your privacy is important, Prescription Doctor are committed to keeping your details completely confidential.

This is why we also take steps to conceal your prescription products under two layers of packaging.

Delivery and Packing
Discreet Delivery?

We have a commitment to delivering a discreet service and understand your need for privacy. We ship all orders via a trackable courier using discreet, plain packaging.

Do I Need to Wait in All Day for Delivery?

Once your order is dispatched you will receive a tracking number via sms and email.

Do You Deliver on Weekends?

We deliver medications between Monday and Saturday. You can upgrade to Saturday delivery on Friday.

My Order Hasn’t Arrived What Should I Do?

You should receive a tracking number with your order which you can use this number to track your parcel online. This should give you a clear indication of where your parcel is. If you haven’t received your parcel in the time frame given by our couriers, contact your local depot to find out where it is. You can also contact our support team who will do this for you.

Can I Be Notified by Text?

On checkout you will be asked to leave your mobile number so our courier can text you about the delivery. This is also useful if the courier has problems finding your address. We will not use your mobile number for anything else.

Payment Methods
How Can I Pay for My Order?

You can pay for your order using credit, debit card or via bank transfer.

I Don’t Have a Credit Card, How Can I Pay?

If you don’t have a credit or debit card you can pay via bank transfer. We will give you a unique reference number at checkout along with details of how to make the transfer. Once the money has cleared in our account, we will process your order.

How Do You Keep My Details Safe?

We are a completely secure site and take many measures to ensure your details are kept safe. We understand that you have a right to extreme privacy when purchasing sensitive health medications. All information that you provide to us is stored on our secure servers. Any payment transactions will be encrypted using SSL technology.

Payment and refunds?

You can pay for your order using credit, debit card and bank transfer.

Card Payment: Please notify us that you wish to cancel your order. Your refund will show available In 1 - 3 days.

Bank Transfer: A member of our team will contact you requesting for your bank details. These details are only used to transfer the funds back into your account.

Treatment Information

Table of contents

What is Cytisine?

Cytisine is both the generic and brand name of the product available in the UK for quitting smoking. Cytisine is an alkaloid which is naturally found in many plants and seeds, particularly Laburnum seeds. It is a partial agonist on the alpha-4 beta-2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, which plays an important role in nicotine addiction. So, cytisine works by mimicking the actions of nicotine to help you give up smoking.

Cytisine is not a new drug but has not been available in the UK until recently. It was first developed in the early 1950s. It has been sold under the brand name Tabex since the 1970s in Central and Eastern Europe. Cytisine is available in many countries, including Canada and Poland, without prescription. In the UK, you will need a prescription from a doctor or medical professional to get Cytisine.

In the UK, cytisine will be available under the brand name Cytisine. Bonteque Consulting Ltd will hold the licence and distribution will be carried out by Consilient Health.

How does Cytisine work?

Cytisine works similarly to Champix because it copies the effects of nicotine by selectively stimulating the nicotine receptors in the brain so that when you smoke, you receive only a partial reward. Over time, this makes it easier to manage the withdrawal and give up tobacco smoking altogether. By attaching itself to the nicotine receptor, nicotine cannot bind to it.

What’s the difference between Cytisine and varenicline?

Varenicline (Champix) and Cytisine contain different active ingredients. Champix has been considered the most effective smoking cessation aid, but it can cause side effects that can lead to people stopping treatment early.

Cytisine, however, is a plant-based alkaloid that works similarly to varenicline. Walker et al., (2021) found that self-reported side effects over 6 months were reported significantly more frequently in a group taking varenicline compared to cytisine.

How effective is Cytisine?

When it comes to quitting smoking, a study published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, found Cytisine to be one of the most effective treatments, alongside e-cigarettes and varenicline.

A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) found that compared to placebo, cytisine was more effective for giving up smoking. A review published in 2013 found that cytisine is a safe and effective smoking aid which is comparable to other licensed smoking treatments. Their review analysed the results from 8 trials involving 4020 adult smokers and reported those using Cytisine to quit smoking had a 59% higher rate of abstinence compared to placebo. The low cost and the benefits of cytisine make it an attractive smoking cessation option.

People who use cytisine to give up smoking were found to be twice as likely to quit compared to a placebo. The same review found that cytisine may be more effective than nicotine replacement therapy.

Cytisine dosage

Cytisine is a tablet. Each tablet contains 1.5 mg of the active ingredient, cytisine.

One pack of Cytisine contains 100 tablets or a complete course of 25 days. Below is a dosage table.

Treatment daysRecommended dosageMaximum daily dose
1 to 31 tablet every 2 hours6 tablets
4 to 121 tablet every 2.5 hours5 tablets
13 to 161 tablet every 3 hours4 tablets
17 to 201 tablet every 5 hours3 tablets
21 to 251 to 2 tablets per day2 tablets

You should stop smoking no later than the fifth day of Cytisine treatments. If you carry on smoking beyond this while taking Cytisine, you may increase the chance of experiencing side effects.

What happens if I take too much Cytisine?

If you take too much Cytisine, it can cause some unwanted side effects. You should seek urgent medical advice if you have taken too many tablets.

What if I miss a Cytisine dose?

If you miss your usual dose of Cytisine, you must not take a double dose to make up for the missed dose. Just skip the missed dose and take your next scheduled tablet as usual.

Who can use Cytisine?

Cytisine is intended for use by people who are serious about giving up smoking. You should avoid nicotine-based products, including cigarettes and nicotine replacement therapy while taking Cytisine because it can lead to adverse effects.

Is Cytisine safe?

Evidence shows that Cytisine is a safe and effective smoking cessation method. It has been used in Europe as a stop-smoking aid by several million people without prescription and no serious side effects have been reported.

A double-blind randomised placebo-controlled trial involving adults who smoked more than 10 cigarettes a day found that any side effects linked to Cytisine use, although common, were not serious.

Cytisine side effects

As with any medication, Cytisine may lead to side effects, though not everyone will experience them. Clinical studies suggest that Cytisine is generally well-tolerated. Most side effects observed are mild to moderate and often involve the gastrointestinal system. It's common for these adverse reactions to appear early in the course of treatment, but they typically resolve as therapy continues

Reported side effects can include; 

  • increased appetite
  • weight gain
  •  dizziness
  • irritability
  • mood fluctuations
  • anxiety
  • various sleep disturbances (such as insomnia, drowsiness
  • lethargy, unusual dreams, or nightmares)
  • headaches. 

It's important to note that some of these symptoms might also stem from the process of quitting smoking itself, rather than from Cytisine. Furthermore, Cytisine does not impair your ability to drive or operate machinery. If you encounter any side effects while taking Cytisine, we urge you to report them to the PD prescriber Team. 

As Cytisine is a relatively new treatment, it is crucial to document all side effects through the MHRA Yellow Card Scheme to gather comprehensive safety data.

Cytisine warnings

Before taking Cytisine, you should let our clinicians know if you have:

  • ischaemic heart disease
  • heart failure
  • high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • gastric or duodenal ulcers
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • an overactive thyroid
  • diabetes
  • schizophrenia
  • atherosclerosis
  • a tumour in the adrenal glands (pheochromocytoma)

Having one of these conditions doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t use Cytisine to give up smoking. It just means our clinicians will need to assess the risks, and if they think the medication suits you, monitor your body’s response.

Cytisine contraindications

You should not take Cytisine if you:

  • are under 18
  • are 65 or over
  • are allergic to Cytisine
  • are allergic to any of the ingredients in Cytisine tablets
  • have unstable angina
  • have recently had a heart attack
  • experience an irregular or abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmias)
  • have recently had a stroke
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

If you are taking an oral contraceptive pill, like the combined pill, you should consider using additional contraception methods, such as condoms, while using Cytisine. That’s because not enough is known about the effect of Cytisine on hormonal contraceptives, so additional precautions are recommended.

Interestingly, a report published in 2018 found that women taking hormonal contraception reported more severe withdrawal symptoms when quitting smoking using nicotine replacement therapy. However, compared to women not taking hormonal contraception men, those using hormonal birth control were more likely to have still quit smoking at the end of the nicotine replacement treatment.

You should not use Cytisine with any anti-tuberculosis (TB) medicines. Let our clinician know if you are taking any other medications before using Cytisine, so they can check your suitability.

Cytisine during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Cytisine should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women because there is limited evidence relating to its effects.

If you are pregnant, you can use nicotine replacement therapy if you are unable to quit without it. However, it is strongly recommended that you get advice from a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment.

Are there any alternatives to Cytisine?

Yes, at Prescription Doctor we offer other smoking cessation options. They are:

  • Champix (our clinicians will look to prescribe Zyban or Cytisine)
  • Zyban

Zyban helps you to quit smoking by acting on the neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for nicotine cravings and withdrawal. The active ingredient, bupropion hydrochloride, helps to make these symptoms more manageable.

Where can I buy Cytisine online?

You can purchase Cytisine from Prescription Doctor using our online consultation service. Fill out our short online questionnaire and one of our clinicians will review and approve the treatment if appropriate.

After checkout, you can chat with Customer Service advisers or our medical team via ‘My Account’.


Can I smoke while using Cytisine?

No, it is not advisable to smoke cigarettes while taking Cytisine because it can result in adverse effects. You should quit smoking no later than day 5 of taking Cytisine.

What should I do if I experience side effects?

If you experience any mild or tolerable side effects, you should continue taking Cytisine. If you are worried about any side effects, you should speak to our clinicians.

Can you take Cytisine at the same time as using nicotine replacement therapy?

No, there is a risk that the nicotine in replacement therapies could cause adverse reactions if used at the same time as Cytisine.

What’s the difference between Zyban and Cytisine?

Zyban contains the active ingredient bupropion hydrochloride. It is an antidepressant but was also found to be an effective smoking cessation aid by accident. Cytisine is a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonist.

How do I take Cytisine?

Cytisine is a tablet and should be taken orally with a glass of water.


Addiction, (2023). Evaluation of the effectiveness of cytisine for the treatment of smoking cessation: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Addiction, (2021). Cytisine versus varenicline for smoking cessation in New Zealand indigenous Māori: a randomized controlled trial.

Addictive Behaviours, (2018). Use of hormonal contraceptives and smoking cessation: A preliminary report

BMJ, (2013). Efficacy of cytisine in helping smokers quit: systematic review and meta-analysis

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, (2022). Efficacy and Safety of Cytisine in Combination with a Community Pharmacists’ Counselling for Smoking Cessation in Thailand: A Randomized Double-Blinded Placebo-Controlled Trial

JAMA, (2021). Effect of Cytisine vs Varenicline on Smoking Cessation.

The New England Journal of Medicine, 2011. Placebo-Controlled Trial of Cytisine for Smoking Cessation

Authored By

Mohamed Imran

Mohamed Imran Lakhi

MPharm - Lead Pharmacist
Imran Lakhi is the superintendent pharmacist and founder at Prescription Doctor. He has been at the core of our team.

Published on: 12/03/2024

Reviewed By

Dr Giuseppe Aragona
Dr. Giuseppe utilises his extensive experience in general practice to ensure the accuracy and safety of the website's content.

Reviewed on: 13/03/2024
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