If you are making an attempt to rid yourself of the smoking habit, then there are great chances that the name of Wellbutrin will be quite familiar to you. Several doctors prescribe Wellbutrin to stop smoking. People use this drug, without actually knowing what it does to the body. Wellbutrin is popularly considered to be an effective medicine for smoking cessation. But very few people know why this drug is effective, or whether there are any limitations to its use.
Wellbutrin is the brand name of the drug buproprion, also known as amfebutamone. In some places, Wellbutrin is also sold under the brand name of Zyban. The main use of this drug is as an antidepressant. In fact, as an antidepressant, it is very popular - it is currently the fourth largest prescribed antidepressant in the world.
The active component of Wellbutrin, i.e. buproprion works at reducing the effects of nicotine in the smoker. Nicotine is the main addictive principle of the cigarettes. It is the nicotine that causes the smoker to smoke again and again. Buproprion works at reducing these effects.
Also, due to its antidepressant properties, Wellbutrin can help the quitting smoker to face the withdrawal symptoms better. One common problem with smoking cessation is that it can cause obesity. Recent studies has shown that Wellbutrin is effective even in causing weight loss.
However, detractors of the drug maintain that the use of Wellbutrin to stop smoking may actually not be so effective as it is claimed to be. There are some experts who claim that the drug will not work in hardened smokers, and there is a tendency to return back to the addiction. Since it is medication to be taken orally, if one forgets a dose, or if the drug is unavailable, the anxiety pangs could be so strong that the person may be forced to smoke again. Wellbutrin has also been denounced as being no more than a placebo, which does nothing better than create a false feeling of de-addiction in the mind of the smoker, which does not last for a very long time either.
There are several contraindications of the drug that doctors need to check up on before making a prescription. Wellbutrin cannot be prescribed to people having problems such as epilepsy or eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Since the drug is metabolized in the liver, it is necessary that the person taking it must have a healthy liver. Wellbutrin is also not advisable for people with any kind of kidney problems, or those who are suffering from high blood pressure.
But the biggest risk of using Wellbutrin to stop smoking is observed in children and adolescents. It is found that continuous use of the drug can increase the risks of suicide. In fact, FDA has made it compulsory for all packets of the drug to carry a suicide risk warning.
The use of Wellbutrin is somewhat controversial, but it does remain one of the most popular treatment methods. It has a comparatively decent success rate in reducing the smoking addiction.
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