Bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban)
Bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban) is typically prescribed for the treatment of depression. However, it is also used in the context of addiction treatment and rehabilitation - particularly because of its effectiveness as a smoking cessation medication. Read on to find out more:
Understanding Bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban)
Bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban) is known by a wide variety of names in the medical and addiction treatment fields. These names include Zyban, Chantix, Forfivo, Budeprion, and Aplenzin.
Although it is chiefly classified as an antidepressant, Bupropion can also prove useful in helping you to stop smoking tobacco cigarettes. There have also been other studies that show that it could be useful in the treatment of methamphetamine dependence and addiction.
One of the benefits with Bupropion is that it will typically not lead to sexual dysfunction or weight gain. However, there is always a risk that you could suffer some side effects when you are on this medication. Examples of these effects include seizures, confusion, rashes, and dizziness.
Today, Bupropion is classified as an aminoketone. The FDA - the Food and Drug Administration - first approved it for use in clinical settings in 1985. Over time, it has come to be among the most frequently prescribed of all antidepressants in the country, as well as around the globe.
Bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban) Uses
Most of the antidepressants that you would typically find on the market are SSRI - or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. This means that they work by boosting the volumes of serotonin, a common neurotransmitter, within the brain.
However, Bupropion is different. This is because it is classified as a NDRI - or a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor. As a result, the drug works by boosting the levels of the norepinephrine neurotransmitters - particularly dopamine and noradrenaline - in the brain.
The way in which Bupropion works is quite complex. It is for this reason that both doctors and addiction experts, as well as other professionals in the medical and research fields are yet to fully understand the neurological effects of this medication.
Apart from being an antidepressant, this drug is also an antagonist for nicotinic receptors. As a result, it can also block the receptors that nicotine usually binds to. It is for this reason that Bupropion is useful as a smoking cessation aid.
Some of the other ways in which you can use this medication include:
Bupropion is just as effective as any other antidepressant. However, it comes with a lowered risk of sexual dysfunction, sleepiness, and weight gain than most of the other medications that are prescribed for depression. The drug might also work well against any sexual dysfunction that you could have developed as a result of taking other antidepressants in the past.
That said, Bupropion usually takes several weeks to some months before it provides relief from the depressive symptoms that you might be suffering. Additionally, there will be no fixed period of time during which you can use this medication. However, there is a high probability that you will be advised to keep on taking it even after your symptoms have improved. By so doing, you may potentially be able to prevent your symptoms from recurring.
If you have a major depressive disorder and you have not yet responded to SSRIs, you may receive a prescription for Bupropion as an additional drug to help with your condition.
2. Smoking Cessation
The drug has also been found to be effective at reducing the cravings for nicotine. The typical course of treatment will take anywhere between 7 and 12 hours. However, you should already have stopped smoking by the 10th day of taking this medication.
Bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban) is often prescribed as a cost effective and safe drug that you can use to stop smoking. Research studies report that it helps at least 20 percent of smokers to quit completely.
If you want to stop smoking and have the motivation to reduce and completely cut out the number of cigarettes that you consume on any given day, you may receive a prescription for the 150 mg tablets of this drug. You would typically have to take the medication two times every day.
However, it is also advised that you use your prescription medications while you are off NRT - or nicotine replacement therapy. This is because Bupropion is powerful enough even on its own.
Bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban) is produced for oral consumption. It comes in the form of a 150 mg XR (extended release) tablet, a 100 mg tablet, and a 75 mg tablet. The extended release tablet is the most popular.
If you have a prescription for Bupropion, you will typically take a single tablet two times in a day. You should never exceed 150 mg per dose or 450 mg per day. It is also recommended that you take Bupropion tablets in the morning. If you got the XR tablet, you need to swallow it whole. This is because chewing or breaking it could increase your overdose risk, as well as lead to seizures.
Bupropion Side Effects
A couple of days after you start your Bupropion treatment, there is a high probability that you will experience some adverse side effects. These effects might include insomnia, restlessness, and agitation.
If this happens, it is recommended that you temporarily reduce your dose or avoid taking the drug just before you go to bed. By so doing, you could potentially deal with the sleeping problems that you experience as a result of taking this drug.
Other side effects that might occur due to using Bupropion include seizures. In fact, about 1 out of every 1000 people who take this medication run the risk of develop seizures. For this reason, Bupropion is not recommended for use if you are susceptible to this condition. This is because it might lower your seizure threshold and make it easier for you to suffer one.
The drug can also cause you to experience the following additional side effects:
- Blurred vision
- Changes in the levels of blood glucose
- Chest pain
- Decreased or increased urination
- Difficulty focusing
- Dry mouth
- Feeling sick
- High blood pressure
- Intestinal problems
- Joint pain
- Low appetite
- Muscle pain
- Raised heart rate
- Ringing in the ears
- Skin rash
- Trouble sleeping
- Weight loss
- Worsening of psoriasis
Precautions with Bupropion
You should also stay away from Bupropion if you:
- Are going through benzodiazepine withdrawal
- Are withdrawing from alcohol
- Have a brain tumor that is still active
- Have a history of epilepsy
- Have anorexia
- Have any history of other types of seizure
- Have been diagnosed with bulimia nervosa
- Have ever experienced trauma to the head
Otherwise, Bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban) is safe to take and can prove useful in helping you reduce and eventually completely stop smoking altogether. As long as you use it with other smoking cessation aids - such as therapy and counseling - might be the solution you are looking for.
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