Monday, April 7, 2014

Quit Smoking With Wellbutrin

Originally developed as an antidepressant, Wellbutrin has been shown to be effective in helping people quit smoking. The drug in Wellbutrin is called Bupropion, which is also sold as a smoking-cessation medication under the name Zyban. Bupropion is a norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor that alleviates some of the unpleasant symptoms of nicotine withdrawal for many patients. Wellbutrin is most effective when used with other smoking cessation therapies like nicotine patches or counseling. As with any antidepressant, it should be used with care under a doctor's supervision.


1. Discuss with your doctor the option of using Wellbutrin to quit smoking. This drug is available only with a prescription in the United States. Wellbutrin has possible dangerous side effects for people with certain seizure, kidney, liver and heart disorders, and it has been associated with psychotic and suicidal behavior. Your doctor will decide if the possible risks of Wellbutrin outweigh the health hazards of smoking.

2. Tell your doctor about any other medications you're using, especially if you're using other antidepressants or have used them in the last two weeks. Wellbutrin can also be dangerous if you have recently stopped using alcohol or sedatives. You shouldn't drink alcohol while using this medication.

3. Take Wellbutrin according to your doctor's instructions. Wellbutrin is not nicotine replacement, and should not be taken every time you feel an urge to smoke. It is also important not to use Wellbutrin that has been prescribed for someone else, because there are different types of Wellbutrin used to treat depression that are not appropriate for smoking cessation. Wellbutrin SR, taken twice a day, is the type most similar to Zyban, and used for quitting smoking.

4. Start taking Wellbutrin a week before you plan to quit smoking. There needs to be a steady level of the drug in your bloodstream for it to be effective. For the first six days, take one tablet a day. Take two tablets a day at least 8 hours apart for the next two days, and quit smoking on the eighth day. Be sure to take the medication at the same times of day.

5. Plan to use Wellbutrin for seven more weeks to quit smoking. You will take two tablets a day during this time.

6. Be aware of any side effects, and discuss them with your doctor. Mild side effects include dry mouth and insomnia. More serious side effects include drowsiness, seizures and high blood pressure.

7. Stop taking Wellbutrin if you feel depressed or start having significant changes in your behavior or thinking. Wellbutrin can make some patients extremely irritable, aggressive and violent. Hallucinations, paranoia, panic attacks, and suicidal or homicidal thoughts are also possible side effects of this antidepressant.

8. Use Wellbutrin along with other smoking cessation therapies like nicotine-replacement patches or gum as well as counseling or support groups. Wellbutrin won't make you quit smoking on its own. You need to be determined to quit, and you have to keep your motivation up through this difficult process.

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