Microsoft word - physician - group zyban handout.doc

Zyban® (bupropion hydrochloride)

What is Zyban?
Zyban is a prescription pill used to help people quit smoking. Zyban is the same
drug as the anti-depressant Wellbutrin®. Wellbutrin is used to help people with signs of depression.
How does Zyban work? Over half the people who take Zyban report that cigarettes do not
taste as good and the urge to smoke seems to go away or be less. Zyban acts as a “block” for the
“reuptake” of certain chemicals in our brain. These chemicals are affected by nicotine and are the way
that one brain cell “talks” to another brain cell. Even if Zyban does not make cigarettes less tempting,
it can help with changes in mood that can go with quitting smoking.
Who can’t take Zyban? There are some people who should avoid Zyban. People who have
had a seizure should not take Zyban. People who have or have had eating disorders, a brain tumor, a
history of head trauma, severe liver problems, or are taking other medicines that lower the seizure
threshold should not take Zyban. If you are on a MAO inhibitor or another medication that contains
bupropion HCI you should not take Zyban. You need to make sure you tell me all your current
medications and medical history when thinking about using Zyban.
When should I start taking Zyban? Unlike the nicotine patch or nicotine gum that you
do not start until your quit date, you should begin taking Zyban 7-10 days BEFORE your quit date. It
takes this long for the medicine to reach a helpful level in your blood.
How often do I take it? Typically, I will prescribe one pill a day for 3-6 days and then have
you move up to two pills a day. You need to wait at least eight hours between taking doses. We
encourage you to take the first pill around 7 a.m. and take the 2nd pill no later than 3:30 p.m. This will
lessen the effect of Zyban on disturbing your sleep.
What are the side effects? The most common side effect is sleep trouble. Some people can
also have feelings of anxiety, dry mouth, rash, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, constipation, headaches,
tremor, and loss of appetite. Many of these side effects go away after a week or two. Please call my
office if these side effects do not go away after two weeks.

How long should I take Zyban?
We encourage people to stay on quit smoking aids for at
least three months. You and I will decide how long is best to stay on this medication. It is important
that I know how you are feeling and whether you are having any problems taking Zyban.
Can I still use the nicotine patch or the nicotine gum while taking
Yes, Zyban does not have nicotine in it so it can be used while using a nicotine product. We
will work together on your quit smoking plan.
This information is provided by the University of Michigan Health System, Tobacco Consultation Service Copyright 2003 Regents of the University of Michigan


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