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Zyban may be prescribed to help people quit smoking. The drug works by blocking the reuptake of certain chemicals in the brain, and it may be given in combination with smoking cessation counseling. Zyban comes in tablet form, and is typically taken twice a day. Side effects can include insomnia, dry mouth, and constipation.

What Is Zyban?

Zyban® (bupropion SR) is a prescription medicine used to help people stop smoking.
(Click Zyban Uses for more information on what the drug is used for, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes It?

Zyban is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.

How Does Zyban Work?

Zyban was first developed as an antidepressant. In fact, bupropion, the active ingredient in it, is available in several products approved for the treatment of depression (Aplenzin™, Budeprion SR®, Budeprion XL®, Forfivo™ XL, Wellbutrin®, Wellbutrin SR®, and Wellbutrin XL®).
Zyban is part of a class of drugs known as norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (or NDRIs for short). NDRIs act on specific chemicals within the brain known as norepinephrine and dopamine. These are two of several chemicals used to send messages from one nerve cell to another.
As a message travels down a nerve, it causes the end of the cell to release norepinephrine (or dopamine). The norepinephrine (or dopamine) enters the gap between the first nerve cell and the one next to it. When enough norepinephrine or dopamine reaches the second nerve cell, it activates receptors on the cell, and the message continues on its way. The first cell then quickly absorbs any norepinephrine or dopamine that remains in the gap between cells. This is called "reuptake."
Zyban helps to block the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine so that more of each chemical remains in the space between the brain's nerve cells. This gives these substances a better chance of activating the receptors on the next nerve cell. This action is thought to help people be more successful at quitting smoking.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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