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Bupropion is a type of medication that’s used to treat depression and help people stop smoking.

Skip to: How to use - Pros & Cons - Effectivness - Side Effects

Also known by the brand name Zyban, the drug works by interfering with the way your brain utilises neurotransmitters - the substances that transmit signals in the brain.

If you’re looking to quit smoking and are wondering whether bupropion could help - speak to a doctor online now.

Our GPs can talk through your efforts to quit, discuss specific challenges you’re facing and if necessary, prescribe medication like bupropion to help you kick the habit once and for all.

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How does bupropion work?

Bupropion is taken orally, usually in pill form, and can help you to tackle your craving for nicotine.

Unlike nicotine replacement therapies, bupropion doesn’t contain any nicotine and why it’s so effective as an aid to quitting smoking still isn’t fully understood. However, it has been found to help reduce cravings and the effects of withdrawal.

It’s thought that its effectiveness is due to the drug interfering with the brain’s chemical ‘reward’ mechanism, which is triggered when people become addicted to substances like nicotine.

Bupropion is usually prescribed as part of a course that begins before you quit smoking and can continue for up to a year after you stop.

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Pros and cons of bupropion

Bupropion has been found to be highly effective as an aid to quit smoking, but while it can help you deal with chemical cravings and the psychological issues caused by withdrawal, it can’t help replace the physical routine and rituals built up around your smoking habit.

As such, you may need to supplement bupropion with something to keep your hands busy and distract you in situations where you might have previously turned to cigarettes.

However, it’s ideal for those who want to cut nicotine out straight away, rather than risk prolonging their addiction with a nicotine replacement therapy.

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How effective is bupropion as a way to stop smoking?

Several studies have found bupropion to be an effective aid for stopping smoking, when compared to both nicotine replacement therapies and placebos.

It’s thought that about twice as many smokers who take the drug will successfully quit, when compared to those that don’t.

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Side effects of bupropion

Bupropion has several potential side effects and if any of these persist or get worse, you should speak to a doctor as soon as possible.

These include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • An excessively dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Sore throat
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizzy spells

Talk to a doctor about bupropion

If you’re looking to quit smoking and are wondering whether bupropion could help - see a doctor online now.

Our GPs can discuss your plan to quit, talk through any particular challenges and if needed, prescribe an aid to stop smoking like bupropion.

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