Smoking cessation – Bupropion

Bupropion is effective in smoking cessation and is believed to work by stimulating the release of noradrenaline and dopamine in the brain. A large meta-analysis of 36 studies showed that bupropion approximately doubles the probability of smoking cessation compared with placebo.

Slow-release bupropion takes about 5 to 7 days to reach steady blood levels. For this reason, bupropion is started one week before the date it was decided to stop smoking. The recommended dose is 150 mg / day for 3 days and then 150 mg twice a day. The recommended treatment duration is 7 to 12 weeks. However, longer treatment has been found to prevent relapse in people who successfully managed to quit smoking.

The most common side effect of bupropion is insomnia, restlessness, dry mouth and headache. The most significant side effect is that of epileptic seizures. This effect is dose dependent and usually occurs in people who take more than the recommended dose of medication and/or people who are anyway prone to epileptic seizures. Thus, this medication is contraindicated in this group of smokers.

Also, suicides have been reported after taking the drug. As a result, individuals with neuropsychiatric problems, or behavioral disorders need close monitoring.

As with other groups of smokers, it is proposed to reassess the patient 3 to 7 days after the day of cessation, for diagnosing  any side effect due to the medicine. If a patient or his environment, observe some behavior change, it is recommended to contact the doctor directly and immediately stop the medication. Finally, bupropion can be administered  safely to smokers with stable COPD and cardiovascular disease.

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