How to Take Wellbutrin to Stop Smoking

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Take Wellbutrin to Stop Smoking
Take Wellbutrin to Stop Smoking (Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/youscription/3046195180/)

Wellbutrin is a medication developed by GlaxoSmithKline. It was originally designed as an antidepressant. Researchers soon discovered that depressed persons taking Wellbutrin, that were smokers started to quit smoking. The former smokers said they quit because the desire to smoke was gone. After further study and testing, the medication was remarketed by GlaxoSmithKline as a smoking cessation medication called zyban. Both wellbutrin and zyban have the same active ingredient, which is bupropion hydrochloride. Wellbutrin does not contain nicotine.

Choose a date to quit smoking. It is best to begin taking wellbutrin one week before your quit date. This will give wellbutrin enough time to build up in your body.

Take one tablet, once a day for the first three days. Each pill is 150mg. Wellbutrin tablets must be swallowed whole. Do not crush them or cut them in half.

Start taking wellbutrin twice a day on day 4. Take one tablet in the morning and one tablet in the evening. Each tablet should be separated by 8 hours. Never take more than one tablet at a time. If you miss a tablet, skip that dose and wait until your next dose.

Stop smoking during your second week of taking wellbutrin. Take wellbutrin twice a day for 12 weeks to increase your chance of remaining smoke-free.

Understand the possible side effects which include nausea and nervousness. Wellbutrin can also cause a rise in blood pressure levels.

Use as replacement therapy. Wait until you have taken wellbutrin for at least one week before adding nicotine replacement therapy. You cannot smoke while using nicotine replacement therapy because of the risk for nicotine overdose. Continue to take wellbutrin as directed by your doctor while using nicotine replacement therapy.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take wellbutrin at the same time every day. Your chance of success with smoking cessation increases when you combine wellbutrin with a smoking cessation class or support group. Some studies have found that persons taking wellbutrin and nicotine replacement therapy have been more successful than those taking one or the other alone.
  • Persons with a history of seizures should not take this medication. Wellbutrin should not be taken by persons that use alcohol heavily, ever had a serious head injury, or persons with eating disorders. Those that have bipolar illness should not take this medication. This medication is not designed for persons under the age of 18, pregnant women, or women that are breastfeeding. There is a risk of increased blood pressure when wellbutrin is taken with nicotine replacement therapy. Consult your doctor if you decide to use nicotine replacement therapy with wellbutrin, especially if you already have problems with high blood pressure.

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