Zyban (Buproprion Hydrochloride)
What is Zyban (Buproprion Hydrochloride)?
Zyban is an oral medication containing the active ingredient bupropion hydrochloride, prescribed to treat symptoms of major depressive disorder or to help patients quit smoking. Zyban is part of the class of drugs called dopamine reuptake inhibitors, or antidepressants.
This medication should be taken orally following the instructions of your healthcare provider. It can be taken with or without food and is usually taken twice daily. Doses should be taken at least eight hours apart to prevent seizures. Do not crush, chew, or dissolve this medication before taking it, as this can release all the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Only split the tablet if they have a score line and you have been instructed to do so by your doctor. Dosage is assessed based on the severity of your condition and your response to treatment. Your doctor may want to gradually increase your dose to minimize side effects. Do not take more or less of the medication or more or less frequently than prescribed. Excessive bupropion intake is associated with developing seizures. Do not be alarmed if an empty tablet shell appears in your stool. This is harmless and normal.
Store this medication in its original packaging until it is time to take it. Keep Zyban away from direct sunlight and moisture. The tablets may have a strange odor, which is normal. Keep out of reach of children and pets. Do not consume expired medication. Dispose of expired and surplus medication responsibly, following the directions of your healthcare provider. Do not flush down the toilet or sink. Do not share this medication with anyone else.
Common Side Effects
All medications come with a risk of side effects, but it is important to recognize that your doctor has determined that the potential benefit this medication provides outweighs the risk of side effects. All side effects will differ between individuals, and it is possible you will not experience any at all. Zyban is associated with the following common side effects:
- Dry mouth
- Vision changes
- Sleep disturbances
- Confusion and agitation
If you experience any of these side effects and they are of concern to you, contact your healthcare provider, particularly if they worsen or do not resolve on their own.
Serious Side Effects
Zyban may occasionally be associated with severe side effects that must be taken seriously. Seek medical attention right away if you experience any of the following:
- Blurred vision
- Tunnel vision
- Pain or swelling of the eyes
- Seeing halos around lights
- Severe mood swings
- Severe sleep disturbances
An allergic reaction to this medication is rare, but not impossible. If you experience allergic reaction symptoms such as rash, itching, facial swelling, or difficulty breaking, seek medical attention immediately.
This is not an exhaustive list of side effects associated with Zyban. If you notice any unusual symptoms while taking this medication, contact your healthcare provider right away.
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking this medication, ensure to tell your doctor of all allergies you have, especially allergies to the ingredients of this medication.
Tell your doctor if you have a history of seizures (or conditions associated with seizures such. As brain injury, brain tumors, arteriovenous malformation, bulimia or anorexia nervosa), alcohol or drug dependence, diabetes, congenital heart disease or heart attack, hypertension, kidney or liver problems, mood disorders, or glaucoma. Zyban should not be taken if you are stopping taking sedatives or seizure medication.
Zyban can cause dizziness and/or drowsiness, so it is recommended to refrain from marijuana use as this can exacerbate dizziness. Do not operate heavy machinery (including driving) until you know how the medication affects you. Avoid alcoholic beverages, as this can increase the risk of seizures.
Older adults may be more susceptible to side effects from this medication, especially dizziness and memory loss. Monitor older adults closely, as dizziness increases fall risk.
Pregnant people should only take this medication if absolutely necessary. To quit smoking while pregnant, it is better to use behavioral therapy and education. As this medication can pass into the breast milk, it is not advised to breastfeed while taking it, to prevent unwanted side effects on the newborn.
Interactions & Contraindications
When two or more medications are taken alongside each other, they can interact and alter the way one or more of them function in the body. Drug interactions can also lead to negative side effects, depending on the drugs involved. Keep a comprehensive list of all the medications you take regularly, including prescription and non-prescription, and share this with your doctor. Do not stop, start, or change any medications without first consulting your doctor. Your doctor may want to adjust your medication schedule to accommodate Zyban.
Medications that can interact with Zyban and should therefore be avoided are codeine, pimozide, tamoxifen, and thioridazine.
A serious and even fatal drug interaction can occur if MAO inhibitors are taken alongside Zyban. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, metaxalone, phenelzine, rasagiline, and tranylcypromine, among others. These medications should not be taken in the two weeks preceding and following treatment with Zyban.
Certain laboratory test results can be influenced by Zyban. Tell your doctors and laboratory technicians that you are taking this medication, so you are not misdiagnosed.
If you are concerned about any other medication regarding its interaction with Zyban, check with your doctor before taking it.