Zyban is prescribed as an antidepressant and a quit smoking therapy. It was the fourth most prescribed antidepressant in the US market in 2006 with over 21 million prescriptions. But how does the Zyban quit smoking method work?
The Zyban quit smoking method involves the subject taking Zyban for about 10 days prior to an agreed quit smoking date. The drug is taken in advance of the actual quit date in order to 'build up' within the subject's metabolism. To this end, Zyban is only prescribed for quitting smoking within a well controlled and doctor lead, regimen.
The Zyban quit smoking method works by reducing nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Carefully controlled testing of the Zyban quit smoking method against a placebo have shown that the urge to smoke over the 7-week treatment was only 27% likely compared to 56% within the placebo group, or about half as much.
There are other advantages of the Zyban quit smoking method over so-called cold turkey (or placebo). Mood swings in the placebo group were experienced by 32% of quitters as opposed to 21% - a 50% reduction.
However, the main advantages of the Zyban quit smoking method are the actual success rates that one can expect. In placebo groups or those quitting cold turkey, the chance of maintaining a quit was only half as likely as those taking the Zyban quit smoking method. A year after quitting, subjects that used Zyban as part of their quit program were one and a half times more likely to still be smoke free.
However, as laudable as these statistics sound, the likelihood of staying quit by cold turkey remains very low at just 10% at best after 12 months. The Zyban quit smoking method therefore fairs only marginally better at 15% of subjects remaining smoke free after 12 months. Zyban is by no means a magic pill!
Chantix (Champix in the UK) or Varenicline to give its formal name has shown more promise than Zyban as a quit smoking medication. Whilst this article is not aimed at reviewing varenicline, it is only fair to note that 23% of subjects using varenicline remained smoke free after 1 year.
Moving back to the focus of this article though, the Zyban quit smoking method also has some side effects that any would-be 'Zybaner' should consider. Zyban is known to more than double the likelihood of a dry mouth or sore throat during a quit - 7% in placebo v 17% for Zyban. It also increases the likelihood of excessive sweating (2% v 6%), nausea (8% v 17%) and skin rashes (0% v 2%). Indeed the nausea and skin irritation can be severe enough for the treatment to be abandoned.
Finally, the two most notable side effects of the Zyban quit smoking method is the propensity for seizures and there remains a risk of up to 1 in 1000 people suffering from severe seizure. Another is the false positive reading zyban can cause in urine tests for amphetamine – if these form part of your life, be cautious about taking zyban.
Before taking Zyban, it is also important to let your doctor know of any history of seizures, head injury, heart disease, liver problems, kidney problems, eating disorders, any mental conditions, diabetes, alcohol dependence, and allergies. Because Zyban may make you dizzy and affect coordination, you should not drive or operate machinery until you get used to the drug's effects.
You should limit or avoid consumption of alcoholic beverages as alcohol can increase your risk of seizures. Chronic alcohol users who suddenly stop the intake of alcohol while taking Zyban may also increase the risk of having seizures.
Finally, remember that you should ALWAYS consult your doctor before using prescription drugs.
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