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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Zyban

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

[posted 07/4/2000]
Question: I started taking Zyban 3 weeks ago to quite smoking. After the first week, I started experiencing some of the listed side effects, ie, dizziness agitation
shakiness, dry mouth. I was told that these would pass after another week or so. Unfortunately, as time passed the effects got worse instead of better.
It got to the point where I was experiencing fits of rage. I am no longer taking Zyban, but my question is this. Knowing that this is a sustained release drug,
how long will it take for the side effects to stop, and how long does Zyban take to leave your body completely?

Answer: About a week or two at max.

[posted 06/17/2000]
Question: I'm a hardcore female smoker who wants to quit before my 30th
birthday this summer. I am considering using wellbutrin possibly
in combination with the patch. I have a few specific questions
about wellbutrin that my doctors haven't really been able to
answer: 1)is there any chemical difference between wellbutrin
and zyban? wellbutrin is covered by insurance and zyban isn't.
2)I tried wellbutrin briefly and a day or two into the double
dose I experienced feelings of unreality, similar to being
stoned--it made me extremely anxious. Is this a common side
effect? Also, if put up with until my body/brain adjusts, is
it likely this feeling of anxiety would go away? Third, I am
pretty small (108 pounds): is it possible that I could take
a single dose for smoking cessation? I didn't seem to feel
anxious until I went to a double dose.
Thank you.

Answer: Wellbutrin and Zyban are identical drugs except for the name and the insurance coverage. Ask your md for wellbutrin. The side effects you describe occur occasionally, what dosage were you taking? Usually, it helps to start slow and increase the dosage as tolerated to avoid these feelings.

[posted 05/22/2000]
Question: Can i continue using paxil if i want to take zyban to quit smoking? Will it have any adverse side effects i should know about?

Answer: Yes, but I would discuss it with your md. He/she may wish to decrease or stop the Paxil while you are on the Zyban. I'm not aware of any particular interactions.

[posted 04/25/2000]
Question: I'm in Australia and I am having trouble finding info about Zyban that isn't intended for Americans. My father has been trying to quit smoking for 10 years and I think it would help him. Any ideas where I can find out about the drug's Australian release?

Answer: It is usually available as Wellbutrin, Zyban is just another brand name. Ask your md if wellbutrin(bupropion hydrochloride is the generic name)is available, then use this. You need to use the drug 2-3 weeks before stopping to ensure you have good blood levels.

[posted 04/19/2000]
Question: I am curently taking Zyban to try & quit smoking. My Dr told me I shouldn't use the Zoloft or Xanex during this time. But I get so depressed and my disposition is terrible. For this reason, I quit the Zyban twice before. But I really need to stop smoking. I don't know which is worse. Smoking or depression. Please help. Thank you

Answer: Well, most physicians would be ok with the combination. Wellbutrin(Zyban) is also an antidepressant which is why your md does not want to combine them.

[posted 03/22/2000]
Question: Is zyban helpful to end the use of marijuana?

Answer: Sometimes.

[posted 02/3/2000]
Question: My doctor just recently gave me a perscription for Zyban to help with smoking and anxiety. But I smoke marijuana a little bit almost everyday and am afraid to tell my doctor. Is it okay to smoke pot and take Zyban? What are the effects? Besides that I'm healthy.

Answer: I doubt you'll see much interactions.

[posted 08/10/1999]
Question: I would like to begin taking Zyban as an aid to quitting smoking. I don't know of any potential interactions with what I am currently taking (listed on the previous page). I do not seem to experience any problems with what I combine now. I really do not wish to discontinue the Serzone and risk feeling depressed again. Any insight you can provide is appreciated. Thank you

Answer: Probably no problem, but no research. I would cut the Serzone while you start the Zyban and increase the Serzone only if the depression reoccurs.

[posted 08/6/1999]
Question: help me.

Answer: this is a test

Zyban & Alcohol [posted 11/19/98]
Question:   I was afraid to ask my doctor why I should not drink while taking zyban to quit smoking. Could someone tell me why? I assume it is because of the risk of seziures but I'm unsure. Thanks.

Answer: Correct, but, small intakes are probably ok.

Zyban [posted 10/15/98]
Question: I need info regarding the drug Zyban and its usage.

Answer: Zyban was initially sold as Wellbutrin. This is an antidepressant;but, was found during trials to have an effect on nicotine urges in some patients. Consequently, it has been repackaged under a different name for smoking cessation. Side effects are usually the limiting factor and tend to be headache and nausea. Constipation and dry mouth also occur. It does not appear to have marked long term effects;although in depressed patients some tend to have symptoms on stopping the medication.

Zyban [posted 8/11/98]
Question: I am taking amitriptyline to help me sleep. Will it still help me to sleep if I start taking Zyban to help me to quit smoking?

Answer: Yes, but I would not mix these two - two very different antidepressives. Use an antihistamine like Benadryl for the time that you are on Zyban.

Zyban Side Effects [posted 7/23/98]
Question: Are there any complications with Zyban and does it cause nausea? Also, does it disturb sleep, cause nightmares? What are the side effects?

Answer: Zyban was initially sold under the name Wellbutrin (still is), which is a drug used to treat depression. It was found to have a helpful effect in addictive withdrawal, especially nicotine. Common side effects include: Dry mouth, constipation, insomnia, dizziness. Nausea and nightmares can occur, but less commonly. If you are using it for nicotine withdrawal some of these may be nicotine withdrawal symptoms. These would be expected to clear after 4-5 days in most patients (nicotine that is). The zyban symptoms will persist as long as you take the drug.

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