In general, an addiction to smoking can be a very difficult one to overcome. Depending on how long you’ve smoked, how much you smoke, and genetic factors, you may find it extremely difficult to quit smoking. It is a well known fact the genetic factors are at play and determine how susceptible someone is to a nicotine addiction, and for this reason some people need more than their will power to quit smoking. There are medical aids to quit smoking that help address the body’s dependence on nicotine, leaving you to concentrate your will power on other aspects of the addiction: namely, the social associations you likely have with smoking.
For many years the standard medical stop-smoking aid was the nicotine patch, which is attached to the skin and releases a steady supply of nicotine to the bloodstream. Fairly recently, though, another approach has become popular: the use of the drug Zyban (bupropion hydrochloride.)
Zyban’s development as an anti-smoking aid is a curious one: it was originally designed as an anti-depressant, and during clinical trials of the drug is was discovered that as a side effect, many smokers participating in the trails lost interest in cigarettes and found it very easy to quit. Further research revealed that the drug was an effective stop-smoking aid, and it was approved for use as such in 1997 by the FDA.
Zyban works in a completely different way from the nicotine patch. Instead of supplying nicotine to the bloodstream, Zyban alters brain chemistry in such a way that the desire for smoking is greatly reduced – many people find that cigarettes simply become unappealing after taking the drug. At no point does Zyban supply or regulate nicotine in the bloodstream.
To work effectively, Zyban is usually taken a few weeks before you actually stop smoking. Like all anti-depressants, it takes time for its effects to manifest. Once you’ve been taking the drug for some time, you stop smoking, and if all goes well you’ll find the process much easier than an unaided attempt.
It is important to keep in mind, however, that Zyban is a prescription drug that alters brain chemistry – in fact researchers are not even exactly sure how it works, only that it does for many people. Naturally, you doctor will be consulted in your decision to take Zyban, and it is crucial that Zyban is not taken in combination with other drugs. Make sure you talk to your doctor about the possible side effects of using Zyban to quit smoking: some common side effects include insomnia, dizziness, and dry mouth. In rarer cases, more serious side effects like seizures can occur. You must also discuss with your doctor the situations in which Zyban should not be taken, like if you are abruptly stopping the use of alcohol, or have a history of seizures.
While Zyban should be approached with some caution, as long as it is properly discussed with your doctor, it can be a very effective aid in your battle to quit smoking.