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Zyban Stop Smoking-How Safe Is It?




Many people are asking if its safe to quit smoking with Bupropion (pronounced byoo PROE pee on) and commonly known as Zyban. They are afraid the medication will cause them ugly side effects and even suicidal tendencies. In this article,we are going to discuss Zyban, its stop smoking qualities, side effects and success rates. We are also going to look at the reported effectiveness of the drug, real-life horrifying experiences with Zyban as well as stories of people who died while using the drug.

What is Zyban?

Buproprion hydrochloride is a prescription medication manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. It is marketed under the brand names Wellbutrin and Wellbutrin SR (for depression) and Zyban SR (for smoking cessation). Zyban does not contain nicotine and is thought to affect chemicals in the brain that are related to nicotine craving, thereby decreasing the urge to smoke. Zyban comes in a pill form and is designed to help smokers quit smoking gradually.

What is Zyban?(2)

Even though it is available by prescription, you must be over 18 years of age to use Zyban. It is interesting to note that Zyban was first made to treat depression, but was then found to be useful in smoking cessation. It was therefore approved for use as a stop smoking aid in May 1997 by the FDA in the US. In the UK, Zyban was licensed for use as an anti-smoking drug in June 2000.

How Does Zyban Work?

Zyban works differently from the nicotine patch,gum or lozenge. Rather than deliver nicotine to the bloodstream, Zyban allegedly alters brain chemistry in a way that the urge for smoking is greatly decreased. Many smokers reportedly find that cigarettes grow to be unattractive right after taking the pill.

Even though it is known to change brain hormonal balance, researchers arent even particularly sure how it works but we can safely say it battles nicotine cravings.

How Does Zyban Work? (2)

Zyban sustained release tablets are supposed to be taken in a daily 150 mg dose for 3 days, then 300 mg thereafter, for a total treatment period of 7-12 weeks. A user is supposed to stop smoking within the first 14 days of use and also separate dose intervals by at least 8 hours. Zyban can allegedly be combined with nicotine replacement therapy like patches or gum.

Does Zyban Work for Stop Smoking?

A British Medical Journal article reveals that Zyban is effective when given in association with intensive behavioural support.

Further,the article stated: Bupropion is as effective as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), and like NRT, leads to a near doubling of the smoking cessation rate, achieving long term abstinence in 19% of smokers who use it to quit. Like NRT, however, bupropion therapy probably increases the chance of success with any quit attempt but is most effective when combined with intensive behavioural support.

Does Zyban Work for Stop Smoking?(2)

A report in the New England Journal of Medicine found that almost 30.3% (one in three people) treated with Zyban were not smoking after one year, compared to 16.4 percent of people using a nicotine patch. Zyban was thereby found to be almost twice as effective as a nicotine patch in helping people to quit smoking. But the Action on Smoking and Health(ASH) disagreed with this claim on the grounds that it was too premature as it was based on a single study.

Does Zyban Work for Stop Smoking?(3)

Quoting Clive Bates, Director of ASH, the publication stated: Zyban is an effective anti-smoking treatment, and that the first studies show very promising success rates. But until more studies have been done, it is too soon to be making comparisons between NRT and Zyban. Both products have an important role to play and will meet smokers needs in different ways. The products may also be most effective when used in combination.

What are the Side Effects of Zyban?

Despite its reported effectiveness, Zyban has side effects but this varies from individual to individual. The way the medication will react in Mr A, might not be the same as that of Mr B.

According to EmedTV, common Zyban side effects include insomnia,dry mouth,dizziness,nausea,unusual dreams and joint pain while the more serious side effects include seizures,suicidal thoughts or behavior,hallucinations,hostility and chest palpitations.

Zyban Side Effects(2)

Due to these side effects and public outcry, the FDA in July 2009, announced that manufacturers of Zyban and Chantix must post warnings that alert health care providers about changes in behavior that may occur for patients using these drugs.

Zyban Side Effects(3)

For more information on Zyban side effects, kindly read these experiences of Zyban users.

Charlie Brookers experience with Zyban.

Christophers horrifying experience with Zyban.

Daily Mails chronicle of nasty experiences with Zyban.

Forces Internationals catalogue of Zyban deaths and awful experiences.

Zyban Deaths

Aside these horrifying experiences,some Zyban users allegedly died during usage and a BBC News Report in January,2002,reveals that 57 people had died following suspected harmful reactions to the drug, compared to 18 that died by January,2001.

That statistic was as far as 2001,when the drug was newly introduced. As we write in 2012,the figures are frightening and one wonders what the regulatory bodies are doing?

Zyban Suicides

Talking about Zyban deaths, Nick Hirst, 18, was said to have committed suicide after taking Zyban. Nick, a first-year student at Nottingham Trent University, wanted to stop smoking to improve his fitness for rugby. Nick, who hails from Prestbury, Cheshire, took the drug for a week,then stopped because he had felt an immediate change within himself and suffered bouts of depression. Six months later, in May 2001, he was found hanging from a tree in Riverside Park in Macclesfield.

Zyban Suicides(2)

Pronto, an inquest was instituted to unravel the circumstances surrounding Nicks suicide. After listening to all sides of the matter, Cheshire coroner Nicholas Rheinberg said the use of Zyban may have been one of the factors in the death of the 18-year-old. In a statement released after the verdict, Mr Hirsts family said: We hope this inquest will raise public awareness about the potential dangers of Zyban.

Zyban Suicides(3)

Even though GlaxoSmithKline offered its condolences to Nicks family,it went ahead to affirm its confidence in Zybans ability to help smokers quit.

It is sad to note that 15 months after Nicks tragic death,his father allegedly died of a broken heart. Adrian Hirst, who battled with his family to prove that the students death was caused by taking Zyban, suffered a stroke created by the stress of his sons traumatic death, his widow revealed.

More Zyban Deaths

In yet another sad event, GlaxoSmithKline, manufacturers of Zyban, admitted April 25,2001 that the anti-smoking drug was suspected of causing harmful responses in 35 people who have died in the UK since it was introduced June,2000.The admission came at the inquest of Kerry Weston, a 21-year-old British Airways air stewardess who was discovered dead in a Nairobi, Kenya- hotel room in January, 2001,14 days after she started using the drug to help her kick her 15-cigarettes-a-day habit.

More Zyban Deaths(2)

Reports say she was prescribed the drug by the British Airways cabin crew GP, Dr Mark Andrew after she requested help with quitting her smoking habit. Not long after, Ms Weston flew to Nairobi but was later found dead in her hotel room.

Later, a coroner ruled that the drug had played a part in the death of the air hostess. The British Government then imposed tighter controls on the use of the pill with other medication.

A One-Sided Inquest

The British Government also went ahead to institute a Government inquiry into the controversial anti-smoking pill but campaigners against Zyban were allegedly not represented at the hearing.

A Mail on Sunday investigation revealed that campaigners against the drug were not asked to submit evidence despite that fact that backers of the drug including its makers, Glaxo-SmithKline, and the Department of Health were asked to submit evidence.

A One-Sided Inquest(2)

Campaigners worried about the 57 British deaths connected to the drug and the 7,297 users who had suffered suspected side-effects, including chest pains, fits, seizures and depression, were not contacted.

In a reaction,Ms Westons dad, Eddie said he had not been contacted. Claiming it was a one-sided and rubber-stamping exercise, he submitted everything that happens seems to be totally biased in favour of the drugs companies. Not having all views represented is going to taint the final decision.

Zyban Experience in Germany and Denmark

In September, 2001,doctors in Germany linked Zyban to 4 deaths. Two were suicides and the remaining two were heart attacks, Ulrich Hagemann, of Germanys Institute for Medicines, told Reuters.

In Denmark, the Danish Medicines Agency is said to have received reports on possible side effects from 480 persons who used Zyban and Champix in the period 2001-2011. Eight of these reports involved deaths four from use of Zyban and four from Champix.

Zyban Experience in Germany, Denmark and Australia

The Danish Medicines Agency claims that it is highly unlikely or improbable that any of the eight deaths are due to the medicine.

In Australia,its the same situation as the Australian Broadcasting Corporation quoted authorities at Sydneys Westmead Hospital as saying at least one person a week is admitted s