What is Bupropion?
Bupropion hydrochloride is a prescribed quit smoking medication available from your doctor.
Bupropion is sold under the brand name Zyban®SR
Like other quit smoking medications, you can get Bupropion at a reduced cost through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) – click here to visit the PBS website.
You’ll need to discuss with your doctor whether Bupropion is suitable for you.
NOTICE - July 2019: Bupropion (Zyban) Shortages
Manufacturing issues with the production of Bupropion (Zyban) in Australia are leading to shortages which may continue till the end of 2019.
If you have been prescribed Bupropion and cannot access it please talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Alternative treatments including Varenicline (Champix) and Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) are still available.
How does Bupropion work?
Quit smoking medication like Bupropion is thought to act on a number of chemicals in the brain.
It might help to reduce cravings, either by blocking the effect of nicotine, mimicking nicotine’s effect on relieving withdrawals, or reducing depressive moods.
Go to our ‘Bupropion: Frequently Asked Questions’ page for more information
How do you take Bupropion?
With Bupropion, you begin on a low dose while you are still smoking. It is recommended you choose a quit smoking date between the first and second week after starting on Bupropion.
This is because the medication needs about a week to build up to an effective dose, although the exact time can vary from person to person. After a few days, you may notice you have a reduced desire to smoke.
Is Bupropion effective?
Not everyone who takes Bupropion will notice a beneficial effect.
It’s also important to note that taking Bupropion by itself will not make you quit smoking – it should form part of your overall quit smoking plan, along with professional help and other quit planning strategies.
Click here to find out how to start your quit smoking plan
Clinical trials have shown that Bupropion can increase the chances of quitting smoking for good by around 60%, if combined with professional support such as the NSW Quitline. This is compared to using willpower alone.
In general, Bupropion increases the likelihood of quitting to roughly the same level as using Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT).
If you have used NRT or Varenicline (Champix®) previously and did not find them effective, you may want to discuss Bupropion with your GP to see whether it is suitable for you.