Smoking increases the risk of developing severe health conditions, including lung cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disorders. Additionally, smoking not only affects the smoker's health but also poses a significant risk to those exposed to secondhand smoke, leading to health issues in non-smokers. It is an addictive habit that can be challenging to quit, leading to a cycle of dependency and continued health risks. Zyban (Bupropion) can help you get rid of this habit.
What Is Zyban (Bupropion)?
Bupropion, sold under the brand name Zyban, is prescribed to aid in smoking cessation by curbing the urge to smoke and minimizing withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, numerous patients have noted that cigarettes become less appealing once they begin taking this medication. Sometimes, healthcare providers may also recommend this medication for other purposes.
Zyban (bupropion) is an antidepressant in the aminoketone drug class used for smoking cessation.
The main active ingredient of the medicine is bupropion. It is a versatile active ingredient in medications known for its antidepressant effects by balancing neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine. It's also used as a smoking cessation aid because it reduces withdrawal symptoms. Bupropion has a favorable side effect profile, making it valuable for cases where sexual side effects are a concern. Consult a healthcare professional for safe and effective usage.
Initiate Zyban treatment before the planned quit day while the patient is still smoking, as it takes about one week to achieve steady-state blood levels. Set a "target quit date" within the first two weeks of starting Zyban.
To minimize the risk of seizures, begin with one 150-mg tablet daily for three days, then increase to 300 mg daily (150 mg twice daily with at least an 8-hour interval). Do not exceed 300 mg per day.
Swallow Zyban whole and avoid crushing or chewing to prevent adverse effects like seizures.
Zyban treatment is typically recommended for 7 to 12 weeks. If the patient hasn't quit smoking within this timeframe, discontinuing Zyban may be considered, and the treatment plan reassessed. The main objective of Zyban therapy is achieving complete abstinence. After 12 weeks, if the patient feels ready to stop treatment, it can be discussed, but ongoing therapy should be considered if beneficial for individual patients. Continuous counseling and support are essential throughout Zyban treatment and beyond.
To minimize the risk of seizures, it is essential to take bupropion exactly as prescribed, as large doses may lead to convulsions. Some individuals may experience changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depression, or suicidal thoughts while using bupropion for smoking cessation. If you or your caregiver notices any of these symptoms, contact your Primary Care Provider (PCP) immediately. Inform your PCP about any history of depression, suicidal thoughts, seizures, brain tumors, head injuries, eating disorders, or use of antipsychotics, tranquilizers, or other antidepressants.
Before taking bupropion, disclose any allergies to bupropion or other drugs to your PCP and pharmacist. Inform them about all prescription and nonprescription medications taken within the last two weeks, especially anticoagulants, antihistamines, antipsychotics, carbamazepine, cimetidine, diet pills, insulin, levodopa, lithium, MAO inhibitors, medications for high blood pressure, seizures, asthma, colds, or allergies, methylphenidate, oral antidiabetic medications, ritonavir, sedatives, sleeping pills, theophylline, thyroid medications, tranquilizers, and vitamins.
Avoid taking Wellbutrin or Wellbutrin SR together with Zyban. Additionally, inform your PCP if you consume large amounts of alcohol or are addicted to cocaine, opiates, or other drugs, as proper tapering may be necessary. Abruptly stopping these substances can increase the risk of seizures. Share any history of glaucoma, enlarged prostate, difficulty urinating, overactive thyroid gland, anorexia, bulimia, liver, kidney, or heart disease with your PCP.
If you are scheduled for surgery, including dental procedures, notify the doctor or dentist about your use of bupropion.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to conceive while using Zyban, as its potential effects on a fetus are unknown. Zyban can also pass into breast milk, posing a risk to a nursing baby; therefore, breastfeeding while using Zyban is not recommended.
Zyban may interact with various medications, including those used to prevent blood clots, heart or blood pressure medications, HIV or AIDS medication, seizure medications, other antidepressants, medicines for psychiatric disorders, antibiotics, antihistamines that cause drowsiness, asthma medications or bronchodilators, birth control pills or hormone replacement estrogens, bladder or urinary medications, diet pills, stimulants, ADHD medications, insulin or oral diabetes medications, medicines for nausea/vomiting or motion sickness, medications for malaria, medications for Parkinson's disease, restless leg syndrome, or pituitary gland tumor, medications used to prevent organ transplant rejection, narcotics, numbing medicines, steroids, street drugs, theophylline, or medications for ulcer or irritable bowel conditions. Inform your doctor about all the medications and supplements you are using.
Get medical help immediately if you have any of the following serious side effects:
- blurred vision;
- tunnel vision;
- eye pain or swelling,
- seeing halos around lights;
- fast or irregular heartbeat;
- racing thoughts;
- increased energy;
- reckless behavior;
- feeling extremely happy or irritable;
- talking more than usual;
- severe problems with sleep;
- unusual changes in mood or behavior.
Common side effects of Zyban:
- dry mouth;
- stomach pain;
- weight loss or gain;
- changes in appetite;
- ringing in your ears;
- loss of interest in sex;
- sore throat;
- muscle pain;
- itching or skin rash;
- increase sweating;
- increased urination;
- seizures may also occur, especially at higher doses of Zyban.
Unlikely but serious side effects of Zyban that you must inform your doctor about include:
- muscle aches;
- ringing in the ears;
- severe headache;
- uncontrolled movements (tremors);
- unusual weight loss or gain;
- chest pain;
- fast or pounding heartbeat;
- irregular heartbeat;
- mental/mood changes (e.g., anxiety, agitation, confusion, memory loss).
Seek medical care immediately if you have the following serious side effects:
- If you experience severe eye symptoms like sudden vision loss, blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights.
- If you encounter serious heart symptoms such as fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeats; fluttering in your chest; shortness of breath; and sudden dizziness, lightheadedness, or passing out.
- If you develop severe headache, confusion, slurred speech, arm or leg weakness, trouble walking, loss of coordination, unsteady, stiff muscles, high fever, profuse sweating, or tremors, seek immediate medical attention.
Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.
An overdose of Zyban (Bupropion) can be dangerous and requires immediate medical attention. Overdosing on Zyban can lead to serious side effects and pose significant health risks. Some common symptoms of Zyban overdose may include seizures, hallucinations, confusion, rapid or irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness, extreme restlessness, muscle stiffness, and loss of consciousness.
If you suspect an overdose or if someone has taken more Zyban than prescribed, seek emergency medical help or contact your local poison control center immediately. It's crucial to act quickly to prevent any potential complications or adverse effects. Never ignore or underestimate the severity of an overdose, as prompt medical intervention can be life-saving.
Store Zyban in the container it came in, and make sure the lid is tightly closed to prevent exposure to air and moisture. Keep Zyban at room temperature, typically between 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F). Avoid extreme heat, cold, or direct sunlight. Protect the medication from moisture and humidity. Avoid storing it in the bathroom, where moisture levels can be high. Store Zyban in a secure location, out of reach of children and pets, to prevent accidental ingestion. Regularly check the expiration date of Zyban and dispose of any expired or unused medication properly.