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Home > Tobacco Use Cessation Program > Didactic Components > Zyban: A Tobacco Cessation Aid

Zyban: A Tobacco Cessation Aid

Zyban is a non-nicotine aid to help people who want to quit using tobacco. It was initially developed and marketed as an antidepressant (Wellbutrin [bupropion hydrochloride]). Zyban is chemically unrelated to tricyclic, tetracyclic, selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor, or other known antidepressant agents. It is presumed to act on the dopaminergic and/or noradrenergic pathways involved in nicotine addiction and withdrawal.

Studies suggest that Zyban may be effective in helping people who want to stop using tobacco. Participating in a tobacco cessation program increases the chances of success.


You should not use Zyban if you:
  • Have had seizures in the past
  • Have epilepsy or have a family history of epilepsy
  • Have had significant head trauma
  • Have had a stroke
  • Have had a brain tumor or brain surgery
  • Have or have had an eating disorder (bulimia or anorexia)
  • Are taking Wellbutrin/Wellbutrin SR antidepressants
  • Are taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) antidepressant


It is usally not recommended that Zyban be taken with other agents that may lower seizure threshold (e.g., antipsychotics, other antidepressants, theophylline and systemic steriods) or with Parkinson's disease medication.


The most common side effects include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Dry mouth
Other possible side effects:
  • Headache, drowsiness, decreased appetite, dizziness, sweating, nausea, increased or iregular heart beat, agitation/anxiety

Dose Instructions

Start taking Zyban a week before you stop using tobacco
Starting dose: one 150mg tablet in the morning for 3 days
Then 2 tablets a day: one 150mg tab in the morning and one 150mg tab at least 8 hrs later
Length of treatment will vary from 7-12 weeks
May be taken with or without food
Never take an "extra" dose of Zyban

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