How a Popular Stop Smoking Medicine Works

The Zyban stop smoking medicine is actually an antidepressant. In the United States, it is approved for use in the treatment of depression, for seasonal affective disorder and for smoking cessation. The generic names used for the drug are Bupropion and Amfebutamone.

The brand name, when sold as an antidepressant in the United States, is Wellbutrin. In the United Kingdom, it is only approved for use in people who want to quit smoking, not for the treatment of depression or other disorders. It has no legal status in other countries.

What does it do?

It is believed that nicotine increases the production of chemicals in the brain that make people "feel good". One of these chemicals is called dopamine. Only some nervous cell receptors in the human body are affected by nicotine, causing them to send out signals that cause dopamine release.

First, the Zyban stop smoking medicine prevents dopamine from breaking down so quickly in the system. It also contributes to the release of another "feel good" chemical known as serotonin, so it may alter and improve a person's mood.

Second, it has been shown to prevent cells from receiving the nicotine, at least partially. People have less desire to smoke, because the nicotine no longer produces the desired effect.

Some people are worried that they will gain weight if they quit smoking. Studies have shown that Bupropion may prevent weight gain, at least on the short term. In the long run, increasing physical activity helps many people quit smoking and naturally pregnancies gain gain.

What it does not do?

The Zyban stop smoking medicine only addresses the physical dependency or addiction that some people have for nicotine. It does not address the habits or lifestyle issues that make people "want" to smoke.

It is not a type of nicotine replacement therapy, like the patch or the gums. It will not completely stop a person's desire to smoke. The majority of the studies have shown that it reduces the desire to smoke by about 30%. Counseling and / or changing behavior is needed, if a person really wants to quit.

Side Effects

Compared to the health risks associated with smoking, the side effects of the Zyban stop smoking medicine seem minor. Some people experience dry mouth, which typically follows smoking a cigarette anyway. Nausea, insomnia, shaking, excessive sweating and ringing in the ears have also been reported.

The major risk that has been associated with Bupropion is seizure. Wellbutrin was originally approved for the treatment of depression in 1984, but had to be removed from the market in 1986, due to an increased risk of seizure.

The manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, was able to show that the risk of seizure was related to the daily dosage. At 600mg / day the risk of seizure is 2%. At 100-300mg per day, the risk is about one tenth of a percent. So, the FDA allowed the drug to be re-released in 1989, with a maximum dosage of 450 mg / day.

When prescribed as the Zyban stop smoking medicine, the dosage is usually low, around 150mg / day, so the risk of seizure is minimal. There are many methods to stop smoking and some are more effective and safer than prescription drugs.

To learn more about your options, please visit the Stop Smoking Blog , a resource for people who want to quit, written by people who have.