Zyban - Quit Smoking Aid


July 28, 2021

If you are preparing to quit smoking you may well be aware of Champix (or Varenicline as it’s also known) – the popular pill form medication which thousands of people have used in the process of quitting smoking. But what about Zyban?

What is Zyban?

Zyban is the brand name for the active, generic drug called Buproprion. The drug originally started life as an anti-depressant, but it was quickly realised as an effective quit smoking aid, as those using the drug also lost interest in smoking. Additionally, people not actively preparing to quit smoking also gave up with not much effort.

How does it work?

Although it is not completely understood how Zyban works, what is known is that the medication alters the brain chemistry to the effect that it makes nicotine less effective. Without the addictive substance (i.e. the nicotine rush) experienced as much, the result is less interest in smoking, so we see a gradual reduction. Nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms are reduced also.

Albeit the medication was developed originally as an anti-depressant, you do not need to suffer from depression for it to work for smoking cessation.

How do I get it and start using it?

Zyban is only available on prescription, so you’d have to see your GP or Stop Smoking Advisor.

The course of tablets last 9 weeks. For the first 6 days: 1x150mg tablet per day. For the rest of the course: 2x 150mg tablets per day. It’s advised to have food with each pill, have at least 6-8 hours in between the 2 (from day 7 onwards) and ensure the second tablet is not taken too close to bedtime to avoid any disruption to sleep. Plenty of water throughout the day helps to keep the system regulated.

The idea is to continue to smoke as normal as you begin the course (along with beginning to actively look at smoking and daily activities) and be aware of the changes that take place as the nicotine becomes less effective. Usually, we aim to set a quit date between 10-14 days of starting the course (this can be discussed in more detail with a Quit Coach).

Can I use it? Are there any side effects?

Zyban is not suitable or safe for everyone. For example:

·        People under 18;

·        Women pregnant or breastfeeding.

·        People with epilepsy, bipolar disorder or eating disorders

*There are other reasons why Zyban may not be suitable, please discuss further with your GP or Quit Coach.

Common side-affects include: Dry mouth, dizziness, insomnia, change in appetite, change in sense of taste, stomach pain, nausea and headaches.

These tend to subside as the body becomes climatised to the medication, if they persist or become severe, it’s important to stop the course and seek medical advice from your GP.

See source article here via @VeryWellMind: Zyban Overview

If you are considering quitting smoking and would like more information on Zyban or any other support, do get in touch: hello@28days.org.uk

28 Days provide a digital and telephone service, tailored to all types of working hours with clinics running from 8am-8pm Monday – Thursday, 8am-5pmFriday and 9am-1pm Saturday. Our NCST trained Quit Coaches can offer behaviour change support to assist with the quit journey, resources, digital tools and advice on pharmacotherapy and Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT).