Quit Smoking Help Support: 04/04/06

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Using Zyban As Quit Smoking Therapy


So what is quit smoking help really all about? The following report includes some fascinating information about quit smoking help--info you can use, not just the old stuff they used to tell you.


If your quit smoking help facts are out-of-date, how will that affect your actions and decisions? Make certain you don't let important quit smoking help information slip by you.


One of the therapies for quitting smoking is the use of a drug called Zyban. The generic name of Zyban is buproprion hydrochloride and also goes under the names Wellbutrin or Wellbutrin SR. Originally used as an antidepressant, it was observed that people taking the drug lost interest in cigarettes and gave up the habit quite easily. It has been available as a smoking treatment since 1998.


The reason Zyban is effective is not clearly understood. It seems to affect brain chemistry which makes patients feel energized and gives them a sense of well-being. It is equally useful for helping depressed and non-depressed patients quit smoking.
Patients start taking Zyban while they are still smoking. The quit date is set for 7 days later, and the drug is continued for another 7 to 10 weeks after that. Patients report that symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are minimized. Studies have shown that success rates of Zyban are about twice that of placebos.


Although the manufacturer reports that Zyban can be used safely for long periods of time, if the smoker hasn't made significant changes in his smoking habits by the end of 10 weeks it is unlikely that continued use of Zyban will be helpful. Zyban treatment is like any other method for quitting smoking -- in order to be effective the desire to quit has to come from within. Those who really don't want to stop smoking will find ways to sabotage any quitting plan.


People taking Zyban may suffer from a few side effects. The most commonly reported ones are insomnia and a dry mouth. Those with a history of seizures, eating disorders, and cirrhosis of the liver are advised not to take the drug.


Compared with Patches
Zyban is one way to overcome nicotine withdrawal, but there are other methods available. One of the most popular is the nicotine patch -- a square patch that sticks to the skin and releases small doses of nicotine throughout the day. Patches allow the body to get the nicotine it craves without suffering the ill effects of smoking.


Zyban works a little bit differently than nicotine substitutes because it is not providing nicotine to the body. Rather, the feeling of well-being it provides, allows the smoker to give up the habit with relatively little difficulty and is equally effective for behavioural modification as it is for physical dependency on nicotine.


People using patches, on the other hand, may still feel the desire to smoke in certain situations because of ingrained associations with smoking. For example, some people associate smoking with going to the pub -- this is simply a habit which must be overcome.


Patches can help eliminate the cravings associated with smoking, but they have to be used with a little bit of care. They can be worn throughout the day, but should be removed at night. Otherwise, they may cause insomnia or strange dreams.
The skin where the patch is applied may become red and itchy. These symptoms usually disappear within an hour after the patch is removed but can cause discomfort during the day.


Patches (as well as other nicotine substitutes like gum) are available in various strengths and so can be used to gradually wean the body from its nicotine dependence. Those with a strong desire to quit smoking may find that nicotine substitutes allow them to concentrate on the behavioural changes needed to rid themselves of dependency on tobacco.


Zyban is also effective for overcoming nicotine dependence. Once treatment stops, however, the desire to smoke in certain situations may still be present.
Both Zyban and nicotine substitutes are more effective when used in conjunction with some kind of counselling or therapy. A smoker should also enlist the help of family and friends to overcome his habit.


This article's coverage of the information is as complete as it can be today. But you should always leave open the possibility that future research could uncover new facts.
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