Zyban: Medical Information, Usage and Risks, Customers’ Reviews

Zyban (Bupropion)

Nicotine Dependence Treatment


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  • Dosage (mg): 150
  • Active Component: Bupropion
  • Drug Class: Aminoketones

The active substance of Zyban is bupropion. It is used for the treatment of depression and for the withdrawal of cigarettes. It inhibits the uptake of noradrenaline and dopamine by the neuronal cell located in front of the synapse (a combination of two neurons). Zyban reduces symptoms of abstinence syndrome after cessation of smoking. Used for 7-9 weeks, the drug effectively prevents recurrence of smoking.

According to WHO the quantity of smoking people in the world make up 1.3 bln. Smoking is recognized to be one of the heaviest forms of narcomania due to the physical and psychophysical addiction of the human body to nicotine. Moreover smoking wins heavy narcotics such as geroine and cocaine hands down and gives way only to alcohol. Nevertheless nicotine is not considered to be a heavy narcotic as his influence on the human conscience is not evident and never causes severe changes.

Nicotine dependence

Nicotine causes serious health disorders and affects nearly all the internal systems of the human body. Respiratory system and lungs, in particular, suffer most of all: 98% patients suffering from the lung cancer are smokers with long-term experience. Due to the character of nicotine it is very difficult for the addicted people to get rid of their bad habit. Quite often people need assistance in the form of psychotherapy or medical treatment. Nowadays pharmaceutical market is full of various remedies that help people quit smoking without serious damages for their physiological and psychological health. Zyban is one of the most frequently prescribed medications aimed at treating the nicotine addiction.

What is Zyban?

Zyban is a market name of Bupropion designed for the treatment of nicotine addiction. Bupropion is an atypical antidepressant, a selective inhibitor of noradrenaline and dophamine reuptake.

Bupropion was invented in 1969 and in 1985 it was approved by FDA. At that time it was marketed at the trade mark of Wellbutrin. Bupropion was initially designed for the treatment of depressions characterized by fatigue, hypersomnia and motorial retardation. However, in 1997 Bupropion was approved by FDA for the treatment of nicotine addiction.

Bupropion is an effective medication that can be used both as a single therapy and as a part of the complex treatment. Unlike many other antidepressants Bupropion does not cause the weight growth and sexual dysfunctions.

Therapeutic indication of Zyban

Zyban is prescribed for people suffering from the nicotine withdrawal syndrome. The treatment with Zyban to quit smoking reduces the psychological tension connected with the smoking cessation and the severity of the nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

Patients taking Zyban recognize its effectiveness. After the three-month therapy Zyban can increase the probability of smoking cessation twice as much. The 12-month therapy improves the stability of smoking cessation. At the same moment the combined intake of Bupropion and nicotine does not increase the probability of smoking withdrawal.

While comparing Zyban vs. Chantix Zyban shows quite good results of stable smoking cessation. Bupropion slows down the weight growth that is often typical during the first weeks when the patient quits smoking. However, in the course of time this effect comes to ought as patients in both groups (Zyban vs. Chantix) gain some weight.

Zyban contraindications

Doctors recommend that Zyban is not taken by patients suffering from epilepsy or being in the state of reduced convulsion threshold (i.e. abstinence syndrome, benzodiazines withdrawal syndrome, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or active brain tumor). People suffering from severe liver disorders, nephropathy and arterial hypertension are advised to inform their doctors about their diseases. Due to the high risk of suicidal thoughts children and teenagers should be prescribed Zyban with care and constant control.

Side effects of Zyban

Epilepsy is the most common side effect of Zyban (Bupropion). In the past it was epilepsy that became the reason of product recall from the market. The risk of the epileptic seizures depends upon the Zyban dosage: the higher the dosage, the higher the risk. Long-standing researches showed that epileptic seizures are the main side effect occurring during the long-term use of noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors.

Official patient information leaflet says that some patients may suffer from the arterial hypertension, sometimes very severe. Besides, it does not matter whether the patient suffered from hypertension before the Zyban therapy or not.

Side effects of Zyban also include cardio-vascular disorders. Despite the fact that these side effects are considered to be mild doctors do not recommend that people suffering from cardio-vascular diseases take Zyban. It taken after the myocardial infarction Zyban causes certain danger for the patient’s heart.

Zyban’s rare (even isolated) side effects include liver toxemia, dry mouth, nausea, insomnia, tremor, excessive sweating, tinnitus and eruption.

Suicidal behavior and other psychic side effects

Suicidal behavior and other psychic side effectsFDA requires that any package of antidepressants including Bupropion (Zyban) contains black box warning with the information that the medication may cause suicidal behaviour in young people under 25 years old. This requirement is based on the statistical data that showed double increase of suicidal behavior in children and teenagers and increase by half in the group of young people of 18-24 years old. However, the statistical data also proved the fact that while treating the nicotine addiction Zyban (Bupropion) caused only isolated cases of suicidal behavior (4 cases in 1 mln. prescriptions).

At the same time FDA recommends that the medical leaflet should contain the information that Zyban may cause different psychic side effects among which one mention unusual changes in behavior, agitation and increase of animosity. Some patients may feel depressed and low-spirited. They may experience suicidal thoughts and even attempts to suicide. These recommendations are based on the conducted post-marketing researches that proved 75 cases of suicidal side effects of Zyban within the period of 10 years of active sales.

Another rare and yet not proved side effect of Zyban is maniacal syndrome. Some experts believe that therapy with antidepressants (including Bupropion) may cause maniacal syndrome if the depression is the first mark of bipolar disorder. However new researches prove the fact that there is no direct connection between maniacal syndrome and Zyban.

More common psychic side effects like the above mentioned agitation, anxiety, insomnia and fatigue appear at the beginning of the therapy; sometimes patients may experience daytime somnolence. The frequency of anxiety appearance is not defined.

Psychotic symptoms of Zyban occur very rare. Such side effects involve hallucinations, delusion, paranoia and perplexity. These side effects are eliminated by decreasing the dosage of Zyban or by withdrawing the medication. In most cases psychotic side effects are connected with the additional factors such as elderly age, bipolar disorder and psychoses in the patient’s medical history as well as intake of other medical drugs.

Zyban withdrawal syndrome

Zyban is known to have no withdrawal syndrome while being used for the treatment of nicotine addiction. That is why there is no need for the step-by-step reduction of the dosage of Zyban at the end of the treatment.

Zyban and other medications

Zyban can be used together with Sertraline, Paroxetine, Norfluoxetine, Diazepam, Clopidogrel and Orphenadrine. Zyban is also co-administered with Carbamazepine, Clotrimazole, Ritonavir and Rifampicin.

Bupropion decreases the seizure threshold that is why it should be prescribed with care together with antipsychotic drugs, Teophylline, steroids and some tricyclic antidepressants. Combination of Bupropion with nicotine replacement therapy may cause the increase of blood pressure. As such combination has low effectiveness it is not recommended.

One should also mention the Zyban should not be taken together with alcohol because Bupropion may decrease the tolerance towards the alcohol. In its turn alcohol may reduce the seizure threshold. Combination of Bupropion and psychostimulants as well as Bupropion and cocaine may also lead to seizures.

Zyban reviews

Canadian Pharmacy has studied customers’ reviews about Zyban and has found out that the quantity of positive reviews significantly exceeds the negative feedbacks. Some of the customers’ feedbacks are given below.

A customer, age unknown: “I used various methods from patches to chewing gums and hypnosis. Nothing helped me much. I tried Zyban ten years ago and it took me just 9 days to quit smoking completely. Now I am a non-smoker and it is the best thing that happened to me”.

A customer, smoking cessation: “The pill is great! I’ve got rid of smoking. It’s fabulous!”

A customer: “Zyban helped me quit smoking step-by-step. I could stop smoking at once and during the first weeks of the therapy I smoked as usually. Then I started smoking less and less. In three weeks I smoked half a cigarette per day. I just have insomnia; it is difficult for me to fall asleep. It is the only problem I faced while becoming a non-smoker after the 24 year smoking experience”.