Explore how to use Zyban to quit smoking, Zyban’s side effects and effectiveness in smoking cessation.

Quitting smoking is a challenging journey that often requires multiple strategies to increase the chances of success. There are many tools available to help individuals in their smoking cessation with Zyban to quit smoking being an emerging option.

What is Zyban?

The active ingredient in Zyban is bupropion hydrochloride which is a medication that helps in smoking cessation. Originally released as an antidepressant and later was found to suppress the urge to smoke. It was regulatory approved in 1997 under the brand name of Zyban and has proven to provide long term quitting success.

Bupropion is a prescription medicine which a doctor will need to prescribe as it is not available over the counter. The dose of bupropion is 150 mg daily for 1 week and gradually increased to twice daily. 

The way Zyban works to quit smoking is not entirely understood. However it does have an influence on the neurotransmitters in the brain. The dopamine and norepinephrine transmitters play a role in the addiction and withdrawal processes, which when influenced helps to suppress the urge to smoke. 

Zyban reduces the withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with stopping smoking. Which could be feeling anxious, restlessness, experiencing headaches, irritability, hunger, difficulty concentrating, or just feeling awful. The neurotransmitters lessen the severity of these symptoms making it easier to cope with the challenges of quitting.

Days 1-3: One 150 mg tablet once a day. 

Days 4-7: One 150 mg tablet twice a day at least 8 hours apart. It is best to take a few hours before bedtime as bupropion can cause trouble sleeping.

Week 2: Continue to take one tablet twice a day at least 8 hours apart. This week is the target to discontinue smoking. 

Week 3 onwards: The rest of the treatment is 1 tablet twice a day.

People should set a target date to stop smoking, one to two weeks after starting treatment. This time frame allows the medication to build up in the body to help with coping better once stopped. The medication should be continued for a further few weeks, a total of a 7-8 week treatment regime. 

If individuals find that smoking is still an issue by the end of week three of treatment they should contact their doctor. They may discontinue the medication as it may not be the best fit. 

Zyban has common side effects including insomnia, dry mouth, headaches and nausea. It can cause changes in appetite resulting in weight gain or weight loss. 

There are certain serious side effects in which the medication should be stopped immediately. These are high blood pressure (caused by Zyban), sudden blurred vision or eye pain. If an allergic reaction occurs a trip to the emergency room may be needed. 

Zyban to quit smoking may not be suitable for everyone. Individuals with a history of seizure disorders or those at a risk of seizures, eating disorders, certain mental health or medical conditions should exercise caution and inform their healthcare provider before starting Zyban. 

Zyban’s effectiveness in increasing cessation rates has been demonstrated in various studies,  showing that individuals who used the medication for 45 days or longer were more successful in smoking cessation in comparison to those who did not. About 1 in 5 smokers who want to stop smoking do it with the help of bupropion. 

Other Alternatives

Although Zyban is an effective tool, it is important to note that results can be better when combined with other strategies. These could include nicotine replacement therapy such as nicotine patches or gum. Other strategies such as social support, behavioral counseling and lifestyle changes enhance the motivation of those who may relapse in their efforts to quit. 

Quitting smoking is a challenging journey that may often require multiple attempts and strategies to affirm long term success. Consulting a healthcare professional can be a starting step so they can provide the necessary guidance and help implement the cessation plan.

Consult a doctor


Bupropion sustained release. A therapeutic review of Zyban – PubMed (nih.gov)