Zyban (Bupropion) is a medicine prescribed to help you stop smoking, when you also have motivational support such as taking part in a ‘stop smoking’ programme.

Why have I been prescribed Zyban?

Zyban (Bupropion) is a medicine prescribed to help you stop smoking, when you also have motivational support such as taking part in a ‘stop smoking’ programme.

How does it work?

  • Exactly how Zyban helps people give up smoking is unkown.

When and how do I use it?

  • Start taking Zyban while you are still smoking.
  • Set a Target Stop Smoking Day ideally during the second week you’re taking it.
  • Take your Zyban tablets at least 8 hours apart.
  • Don’t take Zyban near to bedtime - it may cause difficulty in sleeping.
  • You can take Zyban with or without food.
  • Swallow your Zyban tablets whole.
  • Don’t chew them, crush them or split them - if you do, the medicine will be released into your body too quickly.
  • This will make you more likely to have side effects, including fits.

What’s the dose?

Week 1

  • Ideally keep smoking while taking Zyban
  • Days 1 to 6 Take one tablet (150 mg), once a day.
  • Day 7 Increase your dose to one tablet, twice a day, at least 8 hours apart, and not near to bedtime.

Week 2

  • Carry on taking one tablet, twice a day.
  • Stop smoking this week, on your Target Stop Smoking Day.

Weeks 3 to 9

  • Carry on taking one tablet, twice a day for up to 9 weeks.
  • If you have not been able to stop smoking after 7 weeks, your doctor will advise you to stop taking Zyban.
  • You may be advised to stop taking Zyban gradually, after 7-9 weeks.

Could it interact with other tablets?

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you’re taking any other medicines, if you’ve taken any recently, or if you start taking new ones, including medicines you bought without a prescription.

There may be a higher than usual risk of fits if you take:

  • medicines for depression or other mental health problems
  • theophylline for asthma or lung disease
  • tramadol, a strong painkiller
  • medicines against malaria
  • stimulants or other medicines to control your weight or appetite
  • steroids (except creams and lotions for eye and skin conditions)
  • antibiotics called quinolones
  • some types of anti-histamines mainly used to treat allergies, that can cause sleepiness
  • medicines for diabetes.

If you take any medicines in this list, talk to your doctor straight away, before you take Zyban.

Some medicines can affect how Zyban works, or make it more likely that you’ll have side effects. Zyban can also affect how some other medicines work. These include:

  • medicines for depression (such as desipramine, imipramine, paroxetine) or other mental health problems (such as risperidone, thioridazine)
  • medicines for Parkinson’s disease (such as levodopa, amantadine or orphenadrine)
  • carbamazepine, phenytoin or valproate, to treat epilepsy or some mental health problems
  • some medicines used to treat cancer (such as cyclophosphamide, ifosphamide)
  • ticlopidine or clopidogrel, mainly used to treat heart disease or stroke
  • some beta blockers (such as metoprolol), mainly used to treat high blood pressure
  • some medicines for irregular heart rhythm (such as propafanone, flecainide)
  • ritonavir, for treatment of HIV infection.

If you take any medicines on this list, check with your doctor. Your doctor will weigh up the benefits and risks to you of taking Zyban, or may decide to change the dose of the other medicine you are taking.

Herbal products should also only be taken after talking with your doctor.

What are the possible risks or side-effects?

Like all medicines, Zyban can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them.

Fits (seizures): Approximately 1 in every 1,000 people taking Zyban is at risk of having a fit.

  • Symptoms of a fit include convulsions, and usually loss of consciousness.
  • Someone who has had a fit may be confused afterwards, and may not remember what has happened.
  • Fits are more likely if you take too much, if you take some other medicines, or if you are at higher than usual risk of fits
  • If you have a fit, tell your doctor when you have recovered. Don’t take any more Zyban.

Allergic reactions: Rarely (up to 1 in 1000) people may have potentially serious allergic reactions to Zyban. Signs of allergic reactions include:

  • skin rash (including itchy, bumpy rash). Some skin rashes may need hospital treatment, especially if you also have a sore mouth or sore eyes.
  • unusual wheezing, or difficulty in breathing
  • swollen eyelids, lips or tongue
  • pains in muscles or joints
  • collapse or blackout.

If you have any signs of an allergic reaction, contact a doctor at once. Don’t take any more tablets.

Very common side effects: These may affect more than one in 10 people:

Common side effects: These may affect up to one in 10 people:

Can I drink alcohol while taking it?

  • Some people find they are more sensitive to alcohol while taking Zyban.
  • Your doctor may suggest you do not drink alcohol while you’re taking Zyban, or try to drink as little as possible.
  • If you do drink a lot now, don’t just stop suddenly, because that may put you at risk of having a fit.

What if I’m pregnant/breastfeeding?

  • Don’t take Zyban if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. The ingredients of Zyban can pass into breast milk.
  • You should ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking Zyban while breast feeding.


If you have any more questions please ask your Pharmacist.

Remember to keep all medicines out of reach of children
Please Note:
We have made every effort to ensure that the content of this information sheet is correct at time of publish, but remember that information about drugs may change. This sheet does not list all the uses and side-effects associated with this drug. For full details please see the drug information leaflet which comes with your medicine. Your doctor will assess your medical circumstances and draw your attention to any information or side-effects which may be relevant in your particular case.