Bupropion SR (Brand name: Zyban or Wellbutrin)

Bupropion SR (Wellbutrin/Zyban) is a prescription drug that helps people quit smoking or chewing tobacco. Bupropion SR does not contain nicotine and it is not addictive. It is unclear exactly how Bupropion SR works to help a person quit using tobacco but it probably causes the brain to release additional dopamine, which helps reduce the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.

Benefits of Bupropion SR

  • It is easy to use. It is a pill that you take once or twice a day.
  • It has no nicotine in it which may be important to some people.
  • It can delay weight gain after quitting for some people.

How to use it

  • Your healthcare provider or pharmacist will tell you how much to take and how to use it.
  • Alcohol use is NOT recommended while taking Bupropion SR. However, if you drink regularly or heavily, please do not stop drinking suddenly once you start taking the medication. Reduce your drinking slowly or consult your healthcare provider. Let your healthcare provider know how much you drink when you ask for your prescription.
  • It is important to swallow the Bupropion SR tablet whole. Do not chew, divide, or crush tablets.

Before using Bupropion SR, let your healthcare provider know if you:

  • Have ever had a seizure, stroke, brain tumor, or a severe head injury.
  • Have an eating disorder.
  • Are pregnant or are actively trying to get pregnant.
  • Are taking an MAOI medication for bi-polar disorder.
  • Drink more than 2 alcoholic drinks per day or binge drink.
  • Are currently taking Zyban or Wellbutrin.
  • Have liver disease. You may need a lower dosage.


Bupropion SR costs less per day than a pack of cigarettes! Remember to check with your employer or health plan to see if they pay for all or part of your prescription.

Common minor side effects: most of these go away after taking Bupropion SR for a few days. Contact your pharmacist or your healthcare provider if they persist.

  • Dry mouth
  • Vivid dreams or insomnia

These side effects are not common, but seek medical attention right away if you have any of them:

  • Skin Rash
  • Passing out (loss of consciousness)
  • Racing thoughts and/or extreme energy (hyper mania)
  • Allergic reaction, which includes:
    • Trouble Breathing
    • Skin Rash
    • Swelling in the mouth or throat

Important: The FDA has issued an alert that there may be an association between bupropion use and serious mood changes like depression, suicidal thoughts, and thoughts about hurting others. If you have ever been diagnosed or treated for a mental health condition like depression or bipolar disease you should tell your healthcare provider before using bupropion. If you experience any side effects that concern you while using bupropion please contact your healthcare provider right away.