How Does Wellbutrin Help With Smoking?

Smoking can become a crippling addiction for many people that can take years to overcome which is why medication such as Wellbutrin is prescribed to help.

It is said that 1 in 5 deaths in the United States are caused by smoking and is the leading cause of preventable diseases and disability. 

With statistics such as this, it is no wonder that a lot of people try whatever they can to put a stop to their smoking addiction by taking medication such as Varenicline, nicotine, and smoking E-cigarettes.

But methods such as these are not a cure-all for everyone which is why it is worth trying Wellbutrin if you haven’t already. 

What Is Wellbutrin?

In 1969, Wellbutrin was invented by Nariman Mehta and was first approved to be used in the United States in 1985 for medical use.

Today, it is the 22nd most prescribed medication in the United States and has even made it onto the World Health Organization’s list of essential medications. 

Wellbutrin can also be sold under the name Bupropion and is a type of antidepressant medication that is used to treat serious depression and seasonal affective disorder symptoms.

Wellbutrin can be taken on its own or in combination with other drugs and is given orally as an immediate-release, sustained-release, or extended-release tablet.

One feature that sets Wellbutrin apart from other antidepressants is that it has no effect on libido and sexual performance which can lead to relationship issues.

In fact, it’s frequently taken alongside other antidepressants to help prevent the negative sexual effects of other antidepressants, such as loss of desire.

How Does Wellbutrin Help With Smoking?

Wellbutrin works as a smoking cessation aid by decreasing the severity of cigarette cravings as well as withdrawal symptoms like depression, irritability, difficulties concentrating, and increased appetite.

Many people who quit smoking tend to gain weight in the first few weeks due to their appetite coming back, but Wellbutrin can reduce this side effect but keep in mind that it does fade away as time progresses. 

The course of using Wellbutrin to help with smoking can last between seven and 12 weeks with tobacco being completely removed from the patient after 10 days. 

Wellbutrin’s effectiveness in maintaining tobacco abstinence decreases over time after the course, from 37% of tobacco abstinence at 3 months to 20% at one year. However, it is not proven whether prolonging Wellbutrin medication helps smokers avoid relapse.

Wellbutrin increases the likelihood of stopping smoking by approximately 1.6 times after therapy is completed. It is comparable to nicotine replacement therapy.

Even though the combination of Wellbutrin and nicotine replacement treatment had no effect on the rate of quitting.

How Do You Use Wellbutrin?

Only take this medication as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, take it more frequently, or take it for longer than your doctor prescribed. It’s possible that doing so will enhance the risk of negative effects.

You should also read the medication guide and carefully go over the instructions so that you can ask your doctor any questions you may have about it. 

Most patients will be prescribed to take Wellbutrin tablets three times a day either with or without food depending on whether they have stomach discomfort or not. 

Take this drug three times a day, by mouth, with or without food. If you have stomach discomfort, take this medication with food. Taking more bupropion than the advised amount may raise your chances of having a seizure.

Take no more than 150 milligrams in a single dose, and no more than 450 milligrams in a single day.

Extended-release pills should not be crushed or chewed as it can cause the entire medicine to be released at once, increasing the chance of unwanted effects.

Also, unless your doctor or pharmacist directs you to, do not split the pills because the best way to take the table is by not swallowing it whole. 

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you can whilst trying to keep four-hour gaps in between each dose. You should not take more than one dose at once as this can increase your risk of having a seizure. 

Do not stop taking Wellbutrin without consulting your doctor first because if you suddenly stop taking it, you may experience some negative side effects, so it’s best to reduce it gradually. 

What Are The Side Effects Of Wellbutrin?

It is important that you notify your doctor if any of these symptoms last or get worse. 

Most of those who take Wellbutrin do not experience serious side effects, but some may experience some of the following:

Agitation

If you feel agitated, make an effort to exercise on a regular basis as this will might make you feel better. You can also try deep-breathing exercises and yoga as well to help you feel less agitated.

If you continue to feel agitated and anxious whilst still on Wellbutrin, talk to your doctor about taking a relaxing medicine or switching to a different antidepressant.

If you have agitation after taking Wellbutrin, and it does not improve during the first few weeks of treatment, contact your healthcare professional. To manage this adverse effect, they may alter your dosage or suggest other changes. 

Seizures

People with bulimia or anorexia, people who have just stopped using certain drugs or alcohol, and people with seizure disorders are at an increased risk of seizures when taking Wellbutrin.

Other diseases that may raise your risk of seizures while taking Wellbutrin include metabolic problems, brain injury, prescription drug use, and illegal drug use.

Nausea And Vomiting

If you frequently feel nauseous after taking Wellbutrin, you can try taking it with food, eating small, frequent meals, and staying hydrated. You can also get brief relief by using over-the-counter antacid medications if you are finding it hard to stomach food. 

Dry mouth

Many antidepressants, including Wellbutrin, cause dry mouth as an adverse effect. It could be related to medication-induced alterations in your salivary glands. To help dry mouth, you can try chewing sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production.

Insomnia

To help with the sleeping issues, you can alleviate them temporarily by lowering the dose or by not taking it close to bedtime. 

Constipation

If you’re experiencing constipation after taking bupropion, try increasing your fiber intake or taking an over-the-counter fiber supplement. Drinking plenty of water and exercising on a regular basis are two other approaches that may be beneficial.

Headache

As with other Wellbutrin side effects, your headaches may get less severe or go entirely as your body adjusts to the medicine. It’s recommended to consult your doctor if you’re experiencing frequent headaches.

Sweating

Antidepressant-induced excessive sweating mainly affects the scalp, face, neck, and chest, with symptoms appearing in bursts.

Blurred vision

In clinical trials of Wellbutrin, agitation was the most common side effect. According to FDA data, 31.9 percent of patients who took bupropion had agitation.

Summary

To summarize, Wellbutrin can be a better option than other medications for helping with smoking because it decreases cravings and doesn’t cause as much weight gain whilst being easy to take with usually just three tablets a day.

Even though there are some negative side effects that come with taking Wellbutrin, they are quite rare and typically are caused by pre-existing conditions. 

Jonie Dean
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