Zyban is the marketing name for Bupropion Hydrochloride which is a mood elevating drug used to treat some types of depression. Bupropion Hydrochloride (also marketed as Prexaton and Clorprax) is a "selective noradrenaline dopamine re-uptake inhibitor". In simple terms what this means is that when you introduce nicotine into your body there is an uptake mechanism that causes a dopamine release and dopamine makes you feel good. When you take Zyban it inhibits the release of the dopamine so you get the nicotine in your cigarettes but you don't get the corresponding feel good sensation - gradually you simply don't want to smoke anymore.
When the drug was used for its intended purpose a side effect was noticed - addictions to certain other drugs such as nicotine, ended. Because of it's very nature it is a prescription drug and it's use should be closely monitored by your GP.
Zyban reduces nicotine withdrawal symptoms and the urge to smoke. When you take it you will still have to be committed to quitting - it is not a magical quick fix and you will need the support of family and friends just as with any other method of giving up smoking.
If you take other medications you should tell your GP and also if you take tranquilizers; if you have a brain tumour; if you have or have ever had an eating disorder; if you are taking drugs used for the treatment of HIV; if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
When you take Zyban you will get 30 tablets that will last 14 days and then a second prescription for 90 tablets which equals more than 6 weeks worth. You will be guided by your GP as to how many tablets you will take and how often.
It takes about one week for the levels of the drug to reach optimum levels so for this reason you just keep smoking while you are taking the drug. I found that by day 3 I was not feeling the need for a cigarette and I was amazed.
It is suggested that you set a date to quit in the second week of taking Zyban but most people just find that they just don't want to smoke. By day 5 I was only having a couple of cigarettes a day but I then started shaking very badly - I couldn't hold a glass of water or put it up to my mouth without slopping it every where so I went back to my GP who recommended I stop taking it. The drug comes with a warning about operating machinery or driving a vehicle while taking this medication.
Other side effects which have been reported are; headaches, insomnia, dry mouth, constipation, nausea, anorexia, impaired vision, mood swings and many more. Taking this drug might sound scary but as a smoker you know just how hard it is to quit so it seems worth giving it a try.
My father used Champix the other prescription drug available and he reported no side effects. The main thing to remember when considering taking either of the prescription drugs is to be completely honest about any medication you are taking, any allergies you know about, any medical conditions you suffer from and also to consider your drinking habit because these medications can be dangerous if you are a heavy drinker.
You must also be upfront about any natural therapies you are using because there are some herbs such as St John's Wort which can react badly with Zyban.
The bottom line is that if you are open and honest with your GP you can try one of the prescription drugs to quit smoking and work with your GP to manage the process. If you are one of the lucky ones and have no side effects hopefully you will have quit smoking for good at the end of the 6-7 weeks.
If you were successful and quit smoking by taking Zyban or if you experienced any unusual side effects why not share them here?