We’ve all heard of it, it was all over the news and in the media, about how wonderful this tool is in assisting those who wish to quit smoking. This depression medication also called Wellbutrin had this side effect in some of the patients, which caused some people to lose the cravings to smoke. This medication, or rather one of the side effects of this medication, is that it decreases the desire to smoke and the pharmaceutical company quickly renewed the patent under the brand name Zyban.
One of the drawbacks to this medication is that you do need to go to a doctor in order to get a prescription. The majority of insurance companies, who cover smoking cessation products, will cover Zyban, but due to the brand name it is still a pricey medication. Although regular Wellbutrin, which is used to treat depression, is much more reasonably priced, purchasing it as Zyban does include support material to assist you with overcoming your nicotine addiction.
Generally, you take Zyban for two weeks prior to your quit day allowing it to build up into your system. One of the advantages to this is, that you do not have to give up smoking immediately when you begin to take this product like you would with the nicotine replacement therapy. The two-week timeframe also gives you an opportunity to prepare yourself and your home for your new lifestyle.
There are some side effects that people need to be aware of; one of the major ones is the potential for a seizure if the doses of medication are taken too closely together. So it is important to make sure that when you begin taking two pills a day, that you have a minimum of 8 hours between pills, and never double up that dose.
Many people who have used this, have found that during the two weeks they have begun, on their own, to slow down with their smoking. You’re just chugging along and you realize “Wow! I only smoked ½ pack and you didn’t even have to try!” This could be why it has been termed the happy pills by people who have successfully quit smoking using Zyban.
It is usually recommended that you continue with Zyban for about 12 weeks or a bit longer depending on what your doctor says. Although the physical symptoms of withdrawal are over in about three days, often people who are quitting smoking can feel signs of depression and the psychological aspects of stopping smoking can last for several months after, if not for years.
Zyban seems to help keep people on track for a lot longer, usually because you don’t feel like you’re missing cigarettes as much. Your mood is generally better and many people have found that this has helped them stick to their plan of starting a life as a nonsmoker. It is not recommended that you use nicotine replacement therapy along with this medication and generally it is not necessary as the cravings are not as intense it seems.
One of the other side effects of this medication, is the weight gain normally associated with stopping smoking, is not so much an issue while taking this medication. I have known several people who’ve actually lost weight, while taking Zyban, who have in the past had an increase in weight with other forms of smoking cessation.
Just as with all forms of smoking cessation, having a plan, support, and most importantly the desire to stop smoking can help you begin a new life as a nonsmoker. Your success is entirely up to you and this medication can assist you on that journey.