Zyban (Buproprion) for quitting smoking.
How Buproprion Works
Buproprion was initially developed as an anti-depressant and was later found to be effective in smoking cessation. It works as a norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor. In basic terms, norepinephrine and dopamine act to “make you happy” and by inhibiting the reuptake they can work longer in the nerve synapse. Other anti-depressants work in a similar fashion although sometimes on different neurotransmitters such as seratonin. More detailed information can be found on the company websites.
Treatment with Bupruprion
Buproprion is generally prescribed as a 150mg sustained release tablet for quitting smoking. Unlike other products for quitting smoking, Buproprion should be taken before actually you actually stop smoking. The total course of Buproprion treatment is seven to twelve weeks with most people quitting smoking around ten days into the course of treatment.
Many of our readers have informed us that when they initially start taking Buproprion, the cigarettes they smoke seem to do less and less for them. There is some information about the way Buproprion works (Nicotinic Receptor Antagonist) that make it seem as if Nicotine itself doesn’t seem to work while people take Buproprion. Once people actually stop smoking while taking the treatment the nicotine withdrawl symptoms and cravings are far less than cold turkey.
Published Success Rate
After a seven-week treatment, 27% of subjects who received bupropion reported that an urge to smoke was a problem, versus 56% of those who received placebo. In the same study, 21% of the bupropion group reported mood swings, versus 32% of the placebo group. The efficacy of bupropion is similar to that of nicotine replacement therapy. Bupropion approximately doubles the chance of quitting smoking successfully after three months. One year after the treatment, the odds of sustaining smoking cessation are still 1.5 times higher in the bupropion group than in the placebo group.
Warning Label (partial)
Serious neuropsychiatric events, including but not limited to depression, suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, and completed suicide have been reported in patients taking ZYBAN for smoking cessation. Some cases may have been complicated by the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal in patients who stopped smoking. Depressed mood may be a symptom of nicotine withdrawal. Depression, rarely including suicidal ideation, has been reported in smokers undergoing a smoking cessation attempt without medication. However, some of these symptoms have occurred in patients taking ZYBAN who continued to smoke.