Smoking Cessation and Tabex History

Due to the effects of Tabex demand in USA, Australia and Europe has risen drastically over recent years

Tabex® by Sopharma is an original Bulgarian herbal product based on the plant extract ‘Cytisine’ with over 40 years of research.

For over 50 years Tabex has helped millions in Eastern Europe to quit smoking. As a result Tabex demand in UK, USA and Australia has grown in recent years.

50 years ago, and way before any smoking cessation products were approved in the Western world, the extract cytisine was being used in eastern and central Europe to help consumers quit smoking. An alkaloid with high affinity for the α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtype, cytisine is derived from the plant Cytisus laburnum.

Discovered in 1818 and first isolated in 1865. А. Orehov found out and chemically analysed the alkaloid cytisine contained in Family Papilionaceae and is the main active substance of TABEX®. Cytisine belongs to the group of nicotine blockers that are known in clinical practice as respiration stimulators. The pharmacological study of cytisine at the Pharmacology Department of the Sofia Medical Institute started as early as in the 50s of the last century and their aim was to create an ampoule dosage form for the needs of resuscitation.

During experimental studies on anaesthetised cats, two famous Bulgarian pharmacologists – Prof. Paskov and Dr. Dobrev reached to the important conclusion that due to its lower toxicity than nicotine and mostly to its weaker peripheral effect on the cardiovascular system, cytisine can be used as a smoking cessation device, as it interacts with the same receptors in human body together with nicotine.

The intriguing thing in that story is that half a century ago two heavy smokers-pharmacologists arrived at the good idea how to give an opportunity to the cigarettes-dependent individuals to go through the abstinence syndrome easily (a condition of bad mood, anxiety, headache, etc.), accompanying the cigarette quitting period and at the same time to feel stimulated, as cytisine also has confirmed anti-depressive effect.

Tabex was brought to market in 1964 as a cessation aid under the brand name Tabex, now produced by Sopharma Pharmaceuticals Bulgaria who are the sole owner of Tabex Cytisine..

It is well known that depressive moods and abstinence syndrome are psychic conditions, that accompany any dependency, that are most difficult to overcome. The extensive clinical research conducted in Bulgaria and abroad confirmed this advantage of TABEX® – trademark of Sopharma.

Names and Dates

Hussman and Marme (1863) isolated cytisine – white crystalline powder with bitter taste

Dale and Laidlow (1912) discovered the pharmacological resemblance between nicotine and cytisine

Zachowski (1937) confirmed the above results discovered

Mashkovski (1938) worked on the creation of a respiratory cytisine-containing analeptic

Paskov and Dobrev (1953) discovered that cytisine could be used for abstinence syndrome treatment provoked by smoking cessation due to

  • lower toxicity than nicotine
  • weaker peripheral effect on the circulatory system
  • interaction with the same receptors

Isaev (1962) isolated and standardized cytisine out of Cytisus laburnum.

Daleva and Sheykova (1963) conducted pharmacological studies on cytisine.

The technology for Tabex ® manufacture was developed during the period 1962-1964. In September 1964 the first batch of 3685 Tabex packages was manufactured.