Explore the medications listed in our database.
bupropion (smoking cessation)
How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Bupropion belongs to the family of medications known as antidepressants. It is used in addition to counselling, as an aid for quitting smoking. It may also be used with nicotine replacement products. In general, nicotine replacement therapy alone should be tried before using bupropion. Bupropion works by affecting the balance of chemicals that occur naturally in the brain. This helps reduce withdrawal symptoms and the urge to smoke.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each purple, round, biconvex, film-coated, sustained-release tablet, printed "ZYBAN 150", contains 150 mg of bupropion HCl. Nonmedicinal ingredients: carnauba wax, cysteine hydrochloride, edible black ink, FD&C Blue No. 2 Lake, FD&C Red No. 40 Lake, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, and titanium dioxide.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended dose as an aid for smoking cessation is 150 mg daily for 3 days, followed by 150 mg twice daily. You should start taking bupropion at least one week before stopping smoking. Treatment with bupropion is usually for 7 to 12 weeks.
Multiple daily doses should be taken at least 8 hours apart. It is very important that bupropion tablets be swallowed whole and not chewed, broken, or crushed. Bupropion may be taken with food or on an empty stomach.
It is important that this medication be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose of this skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you:
- are allergic to bupropion or to any of the ingredients of this medication
- are currently taking thioridazine (an antipsychotic medication) or have taken it in the past 2 weeks
- are having abrupt withdrawal issues from alcohol, benzodiazepines (e.g., diazepam, clonazepam, lorazepam), or other sedatives (e.g., phenobarbital)
- are taking another medication that contains bupropion (e.g., Wellbutrin XL® or Wellbutrin® SR)
- have a seizure disorder
- have or have had an eating disorder (bulimia or anorexia nervosa)
- have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAO inhibitor; e.g., phenelzine, tranylcypromine) within the past 2 weeks
What side effects are possible with this medication?
- dry mouth
- increased appetite
- joint or muscle pain
- nausea or vomiting
- stuffy or runny nose
- trouble concentrating
- trouble sleeping
- weight changes
Although most of these side effects listed below don’t happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- extreme distrust
- false beliefs that cannot be changed by facts
- headache (severe)
- increased blood pressure
- new or worsened emotional or behavioural problems
- signs of liver problems (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools)
- skin rash, hives, or itching
- symptoms of glaucoma (e.g., blurred vision, seeing halos of bright colours around lights, red eyes, increased pressure in your eyes, eye pain or discomfort)
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- signs of a severe skin reaction such as blistering, peeling, a rash covering a large area of the body, a rash that spreads quickly, or a rash combined with fever or discomfort
- signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, or swelling of the face and throat)
- thoughts of self-harm or suicide
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: Bupropion may affect the mental or physical abilities needed to drive or operate machinery. Avoid driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous tasks until you have determined how this medication affects you.
Glaucoma: This medication may cause the symptoms of glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye) to become worse. If you have glaucoma, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Report any changes in vision to your doctor as soon as possible while you are taking this medication.
Heart disease: It is not known whether bupropion is safe for use by people with a recent history of heart attack or unstable heart disease. If you have heart problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Bupropion can cause increased blood pressure, making some heart conditions worse. If you have high blood pressure, or are taking medication for high blood pressure, make sure your doctor is aware.
Identical medications: Wellbutrin®, Zyban®, and several other medications contain the same active ingredient (bupropion). If you are taking one of these medications, do not take any other product containing bupropion, as the risk of seizures increases with an increased dosage. To reduce the risk of seizures, the total daily dose of this medication should not be greater than 300 mg.
Kidney function: Bupropion is removed from the body by the kidney. Decreased kidney function can cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Liver function: Bupropion is removed from the body by the liver. Decreased liver function can cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have liver disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
This medication may also cause a decrease in liver function. If you experience symptoms of liver problems such as fatigue, feeling unwell, loss of appetite, nausea, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools, abdominal pain or swelling, and itchy skin, contact your doctor immediately.
Mental health: Bupropion may cause behavior and thought disturbances to worsen for people who have psychotic conditions. It may also cause symptoms of psychosis and mania to develop in people who have not had these symptoms before. If you experience symptoms such as hallucinations, mania (feeling unusually over-excited or uninhibited), or delusional thinking, or notice them in a family member who is taking this medication, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Seizure risk: This medication may increase the risk of seizures. If you are at risk of seizures, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Things which increase the risk of seizures include:
- addiction to cocaine, stimulants, or opiates (such as morphine)
- diabetes treated with oral medications or insulin
- excessive alcohol use
- history of head trauma or seizures (including epilepsy)
- severe liver problems
- tumours of the brain or spinal cord
- use of other medications that make seizures more likely (e.g., antipsychotics, antidepressants, lithium, theophylline, steroids)
- use of over-the-counter stimulants or appetite suppressants
Suicidal or agitated behaviour, or other behaviour changes: Adults and children taking this medication may feel agitated (restless, anxious, aggressive, emotional, and feeling not like themselves), or they may want to hurt themselves or others. These symptoms may occur within several weeks after people start taking this medication. If you experience these side effects or notice them in a family member who is taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately. Your doctor will monitor you for emotional and behavioural changes while you are taking bupropion.
Pregnancy: The safety of bupropion during pregnancy has not been established. It has been reported that babies born to pregnant women who have taken medications of this kind during the last trimester of pregnancy may be adversely affected. Physicians and pregnant women should carefully consider the benefits and the risks of all treatment options. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: Bupropion passes into breast milk. Because this medication presents risks to breast-feeding infants, a decision should be made whether to discontinue breast-feeding or to discontinue bupropion, taking into account the importance of the medication to the mother. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of bupropion have not been established for children and adolescents under 18 years old. The use of this medication in children below the age of 18 may cause behavioural and emotional changes, such as suicidal thoughts and behaviour.
Seniors: Because this medication is removed from the body by the kidney and liver, seniors may be at an increased risk of side effects, including seizures, if they use this medication. If you are over 65, discuss with your doctor whether any special monitoring is required.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between bupropion and any of the following:
- antihistamines (e.g., doxylamine, diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine)
- anti-malarial medications (e.g., chloroquine, mefloquine)
- antipsychotics (e.g., chlorpromazine, haloperidol, risperidone, thioridazine)
- beta-blockers (e.g., metoprolol, propranolol, timolol)
- H2 antagonists (e.g., famotidine, ranitidine)
- HIV non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs; e.g., delavirdine, efavirenz, etravirine, nevirapine)
- monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAO inhibitors; e.g., phenelzine, tranylcypromine, moclobemide, selegilene) – bupropion should not be started until at least 14 days after MAO inhibitors are stopped
- quinolone antibiotics (e.g., ciprofloxacin, moxifloxacin)
- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs; e.g., citalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline)
- thioridazine – bupropion should not be started until at least 14 days after thioridazine is stopped
- tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., nortriptyline, imipramine, desipramine)
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Zyban