Bupropion Hydrochloride

Zyban is a prescription smoking cessation treatment, made by GlaxoSmithKline. It works in the brain to quell cravings experienced by the user as a result of nicotine withdrawal.

We do not offer this product through our pharmacy service. If you want to find out whether this treatment can help you quit smoking, speak to your GP.

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PLEASE NOTE: This treatment is not available through our online pharmacy service. This page is for information only. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms related to the condition(s) this medication treats, we strongly recommend that you see your GP in person.

Zyban is an effective smoking cessation aid. It is a simple tablet medication, which only needs to be taken once a day during the first six days, and twice a day thereafter. A typical course lasts for around 7-9 weeks. The treatment is made by GlaxoSmithKline and helps people to quit by increasing the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain.

  1. Branded product
  2. Makes quitting easier
  3. Not available through our service

The health risks associated with smoking are well known, and have been for many years. It is thought that those with a regular habit may see their chances of getting heart disease rise by around 24 per cent; while as many as 90 percent of lung cancer cases are thought to be the result of cigarette smoke. There are also the other effects which smoking has on the body to consider, such as premature aging of the skin, and gum disease.

Yet, around 1 in 6 adults in the UK smoke. And despite the health risks, there are various reasons why someone might find it difficult to quit. Those who live a stressful lifestyle may feel like they rely on smoking to help them get through the day. Someone who has smoked for a long time may consider it a part of their routine, and find it tough adjusting to being a non-smoker. Others may feel social pressure to smoke, because most of their friends and colleagues enjoy the odd puff.

Another reason why someone may finding quitting hard is because of the physical withdrawal it induces. When a person smokes and inhales nicotine, this arouses certain receptors in the brain, triggering feelings of pleasure. In cases where someone continues to smoke, however, these receptors become used to constant stimulation, and come to depend on it.

Once they are deprived of this stimulation, symptoms of withdrawal can result. These can manifest in feelings of irritability, difficulty sleeping, an increased appetite, or in a range of other ways; which can make smoking a difficult habit to stop. But treatment is available which can make the whole process easier.

Prescription stop smoking treatments are designed to be used in conjunction with a programme of motivational support, and work by increasing the activity of certain chemicals in the brain. Zyban GlaxoSmithKline is one such medication. It contains the agent bupropion hydrochloride. This constituent inhibits the reuptake of two chemicals, noradrenaline and dopamine, which act as mood regulators. This enables them to work without restriction in the brain, and thereby reduces feelings of withdrawal.

Zyban tablets are prolonged release, which means they distribute their contents slowly when ingested. This enables them to provide relief from cravings throughout the day.

We do not offer Zyban to buy online at our site. If you want to know more about this medication and whether it can help you, we recommend you make an appointment with your GP in person.

Active Ingredient

The main functioning component of Zyban GSK is a chemical compound called bupropion hydrochloride. This substance was developed in the 1960s, but wasn’t approved for medicinal use until 1989. It helps the person using it to quit smoking by stimulating the function of various chemicals, called neurotransmitters, in the brain.

When smokers inhale nicotine, it works on certain receptors on the brain and facilitates the release of pleasure signals. The more a person smokes however, the more these receptors become used to this stimulation. Thus, when a person who smokes frequently suddenly stops, this creates feelings of withdrawal in the brain, and cravings begin.

Bupropion works by preventing the absorption of mood regulating chemicals in the brain, allowing them to be more active. This then quells feelings of withdrawal, and reduces the user’s physical desire to smoke.

If you want to know more about Zyban and if it can help you quit, see your GP.

Page last reviewed:  26/01/2018


When using Zyban GSK, it is important to follow the specific directions issued by your prescriber. Adhering to these, and to the guidelines provided in the patient information leaflet, will help you to maximise the efficiency of the medicine, and lower the risk of adverse effects.

  1. Apply as directed by your prescribing physician.
  2. You should ideally commence Zyban while you are still smoking.
  3. Establish a target date for stopping smoking. This should coincide with the second week of treatment.
  4. During the first six days of the course, take one Zyban tablet, once a day.
  5. On day 7, and for the rest of the course, take one tablet, twice day. This may be for a period of up to 9 weeks.
  6. Your doctor may advise you to stop using the treatment if you have successfully stopped after 7 weeks. In other cases, they may recommend that you gradually start to decrease the dose at this time.
  7. Swallow tablets whole with water. You can take these with or without food.
  8. Leave at least 8 hours between doses.
  9. Taking Zyban late at night can make it harder to sleep. Ensure you take it a few hours before going to bed. It may help to take your pills at the same time every day.
  10. Never take more Zyban than our doctor has directed.
  11. Do not compensate for a missed dose with a double dose. If you forget to take Zyban, simply carry on the course as normal.

If you are still unsure, consult the leaflet supplied or ask your prescriber.

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Page last reviewed:  26/01/2018
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Side effects & Warnings

Side effects

Although not everyone who uses this medicine will experience side effects, it is important to be aware of them so that you can act accordingly in the event that they occur.

You should notify your doctor or nearest healthcare professional immediately if you notice any side effects or anything at all unusual when using this treatment. This includes experiencing feelings of depression or thinking about suicide.

Common (1 in 10 people or more):

Difficulty sleeping.

Uncommon (1 in 10 people or less):

Depression, anxiety, agitation, lack of concentration, tremors, headache, nausea and vomiting, stomach pain, constipation, dry mouth, fever, dizziness, sweating, skin rash or irritation, itching.

Rare (1 in 100 people or less):

Problems with vision, ringing in the ears, increased blood pressure, flushing, loss of appetite, feelings of weakness, confusion, chest pain, raised heart rate.

Very rare (1 in 1000 or people less):

Fits or seizures, coordination problems, palpitations, feeling faint, irritability, strange dreams, memory loss, increased or decreased sensitivity of the skin, severe allergic reactions, increased urinary frequency, hallucinations.

This is not a full list of the side effects associated with this treatment. Consult the leaflet provided or ask your prescriber for more detailed information.

Taking it with other medicines

Ensure you tell your doctor during consultation if you are using any prescription, non-prescription or remedial treatments. In these cases, a doctor may choose not to issue Zyban, or only issue it with special care.

Zyban may interact with the following: treatments for mental illnesses such as desipramine, imipramine, paroxetine, risperidone or thioridazine; theophylline; tramadol; antimalarial medicines; stimulants; weight loss treatments; steroids; quinolone antibiotics; antihistamines; diabetes medications; treatments for Parkinson’s disease such as levodopa, amantadine or orphenadrine; epilepsy medications such as carbamazepine, phenytoin or valproate; anti-cancer medicines such as cyclophosphamide or ifosphamide; ticlopidine; clopidogrel; beta blockers such as metoprolol, used for high blood pressure; propafenone; flecainide; ritonavir or efavirenz.

Conditions to look out for

Inform your prescriber of your medical history during consultation and prior to the use of this medication.

You may be unable to use this medicine if you: are epileptic or susceptible to fits or seizures; have diabetes; have a history of liver or kidney problems; have a mental illness; or have high blood pressure.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Do not take Zyban if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to become pregnant.

Driving and using machines

This treatment may cause side effects such as dizziness. Do not drive or use machinery if you are affected.

Food, drink and alcohol

Some patients have reported that they experience increased levels of intoxication when taking Zyban and drinking alcohol. Your prescriber may suggest that you cut down what you drink while using this medication. If you drink heavily, you should not completely stop, as this may increase the risk of seizure. Consult your doctor for further guidance.

Zyban and high blood pressure

You will need to have your blood pressure monitored regularly while taking Zyban. Refer to the leaflet for more details.

Page last reviewed:  26/01/2018
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:


Can I still drink alcohol?

Zyban has been known to increase the effects of alcohol in some users, so we would not recommend that you drink large amounts of alcohol for the duration of treatment. A doctor may even suggest that you abstain from alcohol use while taking this medication. Those who drink a lot are advised not to completely stop before using the medicine, as this may increase the likelihood of a seizure.

Will I still be able to drive?

Yes, as long as you experience no side effects which may impair your judgment or motor functions. If you do experience side effects of this kind, please do not drive and tell your doctor immediately.

Can I take the medicine while pregnant?

No. Taking Zyban while pregnant or breastfeeding may harm your baby.

How should I store it?

Keep the medicine in a safe environment, away from children and below 25 degrees.

Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?

Zyban contains: bupropion hydrochloride, microcrystalline cellulose, hypromellose, cysteine hydrochloride monohydrate, macrogol 400, titanium dioxide (E171), carnauba wax and iron oxide black (E172).

Do not use this medicine if you are allergic to any of the above.

Is it available over-the-counter?

No. A prescription is required to buy Zyban GlaxoSmithKline in the UK.

Is it right for me?

Make an appointment with your GP or local stop smoking service if you want to know more about Zyban. They will discuss the medication with you and help you to determine whether or not it is suitable.


Page last reviewed:  26/01/2018
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