Bupropion is a generic name for a medication that is most often ingested by humans as a smoking cessation aid, an antidepressant, or as a treatment for seasonal affective disorder.
When marketed as a medication to aid in quitting smoking, bupropion is sold under the brand name zyban. As an antidepressant wellbutrin, and for seasonal affective disorder wellbutrin xl.
Bupropion can reduce or eliminate the pleasant effects of nicotine, making it easier to quit. The antidepressant qualities of the drug can help ease nicotine withdrawl symptoms.
Zyban comes in the form of a 150 milligram sustained-release tablet designed for oral ingestion. Previously, zyban was available in 100 milligram tablets, also for oral ingestion, but they have been discontinued.
It is usually prescribed to be taken twice a day, but the initial dose is one 150 milligram tablet once a day for 3 days. After 3 days the dose is increased to one 150 milligram tablet twice a day. When consumed twice a day, doses should be a minimum of 8 hours apart.
Try not to take zyban close to bed time, it may prevent you from falling asleep. If you miss taking a dose, do not take 2 pills to make up for it. Wait, and take your next dose at the time it is usually ingested.
A person wishing to quit smoking should start taking zyban before they have attempted to stop (while they are still smoking). It takes about a week of treatment with zyban to achieve steady levels of it in the blood.
Any attempt to quit smoking should take place 1-2 weeks after treatment was first started. Expect to take it for about 2-3 months. Even if you quit smoking after 2 weeks on zyban, you should remain on it for another 6-10 weeks (that will be 8-12 weeks in total).
After 8 weeks of taking zyban, you can either try to stop taking it altogether or reduce the dosage to a single pill every day, until you are ready to stop taking it completely.
Another option is to continue ongoing therapy with zyban for another 4 weeks, or a longer extended period. If you haven't quit smoking by the eighth week of treatment, it is unlikely that zyban is going to help you do so.
Treatment should be discontinued and an alternative method of smoking cessation should be contemplated. In most countries a prescription is required to obtain zyban.
However, depending on what part of the world you live in, zyban may be available over the counter (or behind the counter) without a prescription.
Zyban is not addictive and there is no need to taper off the dose size if you are going to stop taking it. However you may wish to taper off, if you think completely stopping your intake abruptly will cause you to resume smoking.
Do not split, chew, or crush zyban pills. Doing so can defeat the time release action of the drug and increase the chance of negative side effects.
Unlike other smoking cessation medications prior to it, zyban does not contain nicotine. It was the first medication that did not contain nicotine to be approved by the FDA as a tobacco cessation aid.