[Grammar] Alleviate or reduce?

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csteketee

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When writing about a medication, which word, reduce or alleviate, is correct when discussing how the medication impacts the condition?

Ex: Nicorette gum will help alleviate symptoms of nicotine withdrawal?

or

Nicorette gum will help reduce the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal?

Thanks ahead of time.

Chris Steketee
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emsr2d2

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In your first example, you have omitted the definite article before "symptoms".

Both words are possible but hey have slightly different meanings. If you alleviate the symptoms it means the person still gets the symptoms but will suffer less discomfort, pain, etc from them. If you reduce the symptoms, then the number of different symptoms and/or their frequency will be reduced.
 
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