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Bupropion (Zyban) is an efficacious aid to smoking cessation.

Bupropion has been shown to increase quit rates compared to placebo. It is unclear whether bupropion has better efficacy than NRT, and whether the combination of bupropion and NRT increases quit rates over NRT or bupropion alone. The efficacy of bupropion is not due to its antidepressant effects; it works equally well in smokers with and without a history of depression. Doctors prescribing bupropion need to be aware of the contraindications to its use for people such as individuals with a history of a seizure disorder.

The choice between the use of NRT, varenicline and bupropion is likely to depend on patient preference, contraindications, cost and availability. Where some NRT forms are available without prescription, smokers may choose to use these first. NRT and varenicline appear to have more favourable adverse event profiles than bupropion.

Hughes JR, Stead LF, Hartmann-Boyce J, Cahill K, Lancaster T. Antidepressants for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD000031. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000031.pub4.

Fiore MC, Jaén CR, Baker TB, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Clinical Practice Guideline. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. May 2008. logo
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