Zyban® Bupropion

TOSS can provide you with advice and guidance on the use of Zyban®. Zyban is proven to be an effective stop smoking medicine available by prescription from your GP.

What is it?

Bupropion is an anti-depressant type medicine to support you to quit smoking. It does have some common side effects that include headache, difficulty sleeping and dry mouth. These are mostly mild. There are some more serious side effects (severe allergic reaction, risk of having a seizure) but these are uncommon.

Some people have found that they have experienced mood changes when using the medicine. It is not common, but if you experience changes in your mood or if you are feeling depressed please let us or your doctor know.

How does it work?

Bupropion works by reducing the urge to smoke, and other withdrawal symptoms, that many people experience when stopping smoking. In doing so it makes your quit attempt easier and will increase your chances of success. However, like all other stop smoking medicines it is not a magic cure.

How do I take the medicine?

Bupropion is only available on prescription so you will need to make an appointment with your GP. It is not suitable for everyone so your GP will check to make sure that it is right for you.

Bupropion is easy to take. You will need to start this at least one week before your Quit Date, as it needs some time to start working. You will start with just one tablet once a day for the first 3 days and then on to one table twice a day. Don't take your evening tablet too close to bedtime as this might keep you awake. There needs to be at least 8 hours between each tablet, so if you take one at 8am you can only take your next one after 4pm.

Who should not take the medicine?

  • Current seizure disorder or any history of seizure.

  • A known central nervous system (CNS) tumour.

  • Abrupt alcohol or sedative withdrawal.

  • Use of Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (these can be used to treat depression or Parkinson's Disease) within the last 14 days.

  • Allergy to Bupropion.

  • A history of bulimia or anorexia nervosa (eating disorders).

  • Under 18 years of age.

  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women.

  • Bupropion should be used with caution in patients with liver and kidney disease, and in these cases your doctor may prescribe a reduced dose.

  • Caution should also be taken with those who have predisposing risk factors for seizures. Please discuss with your doctor if you believe this could be you.