Bupropion (Zyban) is a prescription anti-depressant in an extended-release form that reduces symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. It does not contain nicotine. This drug acts on chemicals in the brain that are related to nicotine craving. It can be used alone or together with nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Bupropion works best if it is started 1 or 2 weeks before you quit smoking. The usual dosage is one or two 150 mg tablets per day.
This drug should not be taken if you have ever had seizures, heavy alcohol use, serious head injury, bipolar (manic-depressive) illness, or anorexia or bulimia (eating disorders).
Some doctors may recommend combination therapy for heavily-addicted smokers, such as using bupropion along with a nicotine patch and/or a short-acting form of NRT (such as gum or lozenges). The combination has been found to work better in some people than using any one part alone.