Bupropion - Prescription antidepressant drug for smoking cessation

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Bupropion is an antidepressant drug that is also widely used to aid in smoking cessation. The marked difference in bupropion and nicotine replacement therapy is that bupropion does not contain nicotine and is less likely to cause withdrawal symptoms. How bupropion helps in reducing craving for tobacco products is not fully understood but it has no relation to its anti-depressant action. Smokers without depression can benefit from bupropion as effectively as those with depression.

How to use:

Bupropion is a prescription drug and should be taken only as per the instructions of the doctor. Start the treatment about a week or two before you give up smoking. The treatment will go on for about 12 weeks. There needs to be enough buildup of bupropion in your body for you to banish tobacco. Your doctor will prescribe 1 to 2 pills of 150 milligram strength daily depending on your response to treatment. Do not change the doses on your own; let your doctor monitor your progress.


* Bupropion helps smokers quit the habit of smoking as effectively as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), with the advantage that it does not contain nicotine.
* Bupropion is effective in reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms like irritability, anxiety, lack of concentration and depression.
* Bupropion comes in the form of pills which provides convenience unlike some NRT products.
* Since bupropion does not contain nicotine it is not addictive.
* Bupropion can be prescribed for several months up to a year, unlike NRT.

In some cases the effectiveness of bupropion in smoking cessation can be increased by combining it with some NRT treatment.

Side effects:

Some common side effects of bupropion are dryness, sleep disorders, dizziness, change in taste, and headaches. Rare but serious side effects include extreme drowsiness, seizures, and high blood pressure.


* If you feel drowsy you should not be driving or operating machinery.
* Follow the prescribed dosages for the treatment to work effectively.
* Let your doctor know of any other conditions you have or treatments you are taking.
* Bupropion cannot be prescribed to you if you have an alcohol abuse problem. However do not abruptly stop alcohol if you wish to quit drinking. Work with your doctor and get a plan.
* Bupropion is not for those with an eating disorder.
* You are not advised to take bupropion if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Wellbutrin, Zyban

Note: Drugs that help smokers kick the habit work best when combined with counseling and self motivation. If not for self help, drugs cannot help you get rid of the smoking habit for good.