Bupropion (Zyban) for Quitting Smoking
How It Works
Bupropion is a pill you take to reduce
your craving for tobacco. The way it does this is not entirely known. Bupropion
does not contain nicotine and does not help you quit smoking in the same way
that nicotine replacement therapy does. But like other medicines, it decreases cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Doctors also prescribe
bupropion (under the Wellbutrin) to treat
depression. But bupropion's ability to help
people quit smoking is not related to its antidepressant action. It can help
you stop smoking even if you do not have .
taking bupropion daily, 1 to 2 weeks before you quit smoking. This builds up
the level of medicine in your body. You take bupropion for 7 to 12 weeks after
you stop using tobacco. You can take it for as long as 6 months to a
Why It Is Used
Bupropion is approved for use in
people who smoke 10 or more cigarettes a day and are at least 18 years old.
Doctors prescribe it to help people when they quit smoking.
should not take bupropion if you:
How Well It Works
Bupropion works just
as well as nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs). Using bupropion
along with nicotine replacement therapy (such as , gum, or
) may increase your chances of success.
Taken as directed,
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Feelings of unhappiness or depression.
Common side effects include:footnote 1
- Dry mouth, affecting 1 out of 10 people who use
- Difficulty sleeping (
afternoon may help with sleep problems. Take the evening dose at least 8 hours
after the morning dose.
). If you take a morning and evening dose, taking the evening dose in the
In over 70 out of 100 people who use bupropion, the above side
effects go away within about a week after they stop taking the medicine. Only
about 10 out of 100 people have to stop taking bupropion because of side
Less common side effects (occurring in less than 10 out of 100
- Upset stomach
problems or rashes.
There is a small risk of having
bupropion. The risk increases if you have had in the past.
Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not
available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Like other treatments, bupropion
works best when it is part of a program that includes setting a quit date;
having a plan for dealing with things that make you reach for a cigarette
( ); and getting support from a doctor, counselor, or support
Using bupropion along with nicotine replacement therapy
(such as , gum, or ) may work better than either therapy
alone. Talk to your doctor before combining bupropion with nicotine replacement
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines,, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to get pregnant.
Current as of:
November 29, 2017