Stop Smoking Medication
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Bupropion (Zyban, Wellbutrin)

  • Available only by prescription
  • Originally an antidepressant but later found to be effective to help stop smoking
  • Treatment begins while you are still smoking, one week before your quit date
  • May be a good choice if you prefer an alternative to nicotine replacement, or if you have not been able to quit on traditional nicotine replacement therapies
  • Not recommended for people with medical conditions such as seizures, eating disorders and who are using certain other medications.

Possible Adverse Effects

  • Insomnia, dry mouth

Varenicline (Champix)

  • Available only by prescription
  • Approved for use in Canada in 2007 
  • Blocks nicotine receptors in the brain, making smoking less satisfying - also mimics the effects of nicotine to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms
  • Treatment begins while you are still smoking about one week before your planned quit date
  • Not recommended for anyone under 18.

Possible Adverse Effects

  • Stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, vivid dreams, constipation, flatulence 
  • People attempting to quit smoking with Varenicline should be watched for serious neuropsychiatric symptoms including changes in behavior, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior.

Discuss your medical history with your doctor before using these drugs.

MoH     PCQO