One of the most prevalent addictions in the United States is smoking. According to the CDC, there are an estimated 34.1 million adult smokers in the country. That’s 14% of the adult population. Of those 34.1 million, 16 million suffer from some kind of disease brought on by smoking.
Understandably, people want to quit. If you’re among them, then you can receive help at Granite Recovery Centers. One of the ways in which we help people fight their smoking addictions is through medication-assisted treatment. In particular, we often use bupropion. Here’s everything you need to know about bupropion and how it can help you finally quit the habit of smoking.
What Is Bupropion?
Bupropion has a long history. It was originally manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline to fight depression in the 1960s. Later on, it would be patented by the same company in the 1970s and was given the name Wellbutrin.
During its initial release, doctors weren’t sure about the dosage needed to help fight depression. As a result, users of Wellbutrin often suffered from seizures. The doses they were being given were around 400-600 milligrams. Eventually, a cap of 450 milligrams would be put into place.
Understandably, the drug was removed and worked on once more. It was in 1996 that bupropion was introduced as a sustained-release tablet. Instead of releasing its effects all at once, the new drug was able to slowly release its effects over time. The FDA examined the new drug and cleared it for use. In 1997, the drug was released into the market under the name Zyban.
Another version was released in 2003 called Wellbutrin XL. This drug was designed for daily use. Because bupropion was given in lower dosages, the seizure rate was reduced to what is nominal for everyday depression medication.
How Zyban Helps Fight Against a Smoking Addiction
Bupropion, or Zyban, has become particularly useful in fighting against the habit of smoking. Because of this, some users of the drug are able to receive it even if they don’t necessarily suffer from depression.
Bupropion helps fight addiction by reducing cravings. One problem that all smokers must face when trying to quit is nicotine withdrawal. Nicotine is extremely addictive because the brain loves its effects.
Taking bupropion can help reduce those cravings for the drug when you stop taking it. One of the best aspects of bupropion, however, is that it doesn’t contain nicotine itself. A common stigma associated with medication-assisted recovery programs is that people believe you’re just switching one drug with another. This isn’t the case.
Using bupropion doesn’t re-introduce nicotine into your system. In addition, it isn’t addictive. It can help you detox from the existing nicotine in your body in a safe and more comfortable way.
Some smokers find that using bupropion to stop smoking is more effective when used in conjunction with other nicotine replacements. Nicotine gum, patches, and inhalers are the most popular products used alongside bupropion.
Those who are great candidates for using bupropion to quit smoking are individuals over the age of 18 who tend to smoke 10 or more cigarettes per day. Most often, bupropion is taken a few weeks before you decide to quit smoking. Then you continue to take it while you make the transition to completely quitting. Finally, it’s suggested that you take bupropion a few months after you’ve stopped smoking to ensure that you’re able to break the habit fully. Some adults have used bupropion for about a year after quitting without any negative side effects.
How Much Bupropion Will You Need to Take?
Your dosage is going to be up to your doctor. The standard dosage is 150 milligrams. This tablet is taken daily for three days. After checking to see how your body is handling the medication, an additional dosage is then prescribed. The dosage may be increased to 300 milligrams. When taking the medication, you must wait eight hours before taking it again.
You have to swallow the bupropion pill whole. Breaking or crushing the pill into powder can make it lose its effectiveness. It can also increase the risk of seizures. You also don’t have to worry about taking bupropion with a meal; it can be used on an empty stomach. This is helpful for smokers since they typically suffer from appetite suppression.
If you have liver problems, then you’ll need to speak with your doctor. While bupropion is likely safe to use, you’ll probably be given a smaller dosage to help protect your liver. For example, you may stick around the standard dosage of 150 milligrams instead of having it increased to 300 milligrams. One of the most useful aspects of bupropion is that it can be used with other treatments and medications. No matter what kind of ailment you may have, we’re sure to find a treatment plan that works for you.
Bupropion typically exists in the body for 21 hours and has a nine-hour margin. Eight days need to pass before patients start to feel its effects. This is why using it a few weeks before you’re planning to quit is essential.
Who Shouldn’t Take Bupropion?
There are a few people who should limit or refuse to take bupropion. Those who are already receiving a medication that contains bupropion should not take it as a way to quit smoking. This is because the addition of more bupropion can increase your chances of seizures.
If you’re someone who already suffers from seizures, then you might also want to avoid taking bupropion. It may make your seizures worse or increase the frequency of them. This also goes for those who suffer from some sort of health problem that also increases his or her chances of having seizures. If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, then you should speak with your doctor about whether or not taking bupropion is right for you.
Are There Any Side Effects of Using Bupropion?
There are some standard side effects that bupropion may induce in some individuals. They include:
- Ringing in the ears
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty staying or falling asleep
- Weight loss
- Frequent urination
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive sweating
While rare, there are some other extreme side effects that may occur. These include:
- Pains in muscles or joints
- Irregular heartbeat
In certain cases where you may develop an allergic reaction or have an adverse side effect, you need to speak with your doctor immediately and receive emergency medical care. These are the symptoms to look for if you’re having an adverse reaction to bupropion:
- Chest pains
- Swelling in the face, throat, ears, and/or legs
Why Bupropion Can Help You Stop Smoking
As part of our medication-assisted treatment program, bupropion can be a powerful tool for quitting smoking. One of the hardest drugs to quit is nicotine. This is because cigarettes are designed to introduce nicotine to your brain quickly.
Since nicotine introduces chemicals or stimulates neural pathways in your brain that make you feel good, the brain quickly develops a love for it. After all, you like feeling good rather than bad, and the brain is wired to pursue things that make it feel good.
The problem is that nicotine starts to change the brain. The more that you smoke, the more present nicotine is in your brain. Increased levels of nicotine may start to cause other hormones to stop their normal production, or the nicotine levels may burn out some hormones to the point where they’re not as effective. As a result, you need more nicotine to feel the same positive effects.
When it comes time to quit, your brain will want nicotine because it has become dependent on the drug to feel good. Without it, you may feel sick, angry, empty, depressed, or anxious. Yet it’s possible for your brain to heal and retrain itself to relying on your natural hormones to stimulate good feelings.
Bupropion can help by keeping your brain stimulated with positive feelings. Because it was used primarily to fight depression, it has effects that are related to what your brain feels in the absence of nicotine. You may not call it depression, but the sensation acts similarly to depression. Bupropion will help your brain turn away from nicotine and instead start to produce hormones that cause good feelings naturally once more.
The first step in seeking recovery is to detox. During detox, you’re going to experience withdrawal symptoms. The severity of those symptoms depends on various factors. One includes how long you smoked although even those who only smoked for a few weeks may find that their withdrawal is extremely uncomfortable.
Withdrawals can be so uncomfortable that the individual has no choice but to break detoxing and return to the habit. He or she may feel like dying otherwise. Medication-assisted treatment can decrease the chances of you feeling that way. It keeps you just comfortable enough to sit through your detox and to break the habit. Once the withdrawal period is over and all traces of nicotine have left your body, you can then start to pursue other treatment programs that will help you stay on the road to recovery and sobriety.
Why You Need Granite Recovery Centers to Help With Your Recovery
Many people think they can quit smoking on their own. While this is true in some cases, those people also tend to fall back into their habit later on. To get a clear break, you need our recovery center and treatment programs. We’re able to prescribe bupropion to you. Through our medication-assisted treatment program, you’re more likely to quit smoking and stay away from it.
We also provide a safe place to detox. One reason why many smokers quit during the detox period is that they’re not receiving the support at home that they need. There may be other smokers in your home who still continue to use. Not only does being in the presence of cigarette smoke not help with your cigarette-free goals, but it can also push you into using again.
Those individuals may also not be sure how to help you. They may speak a few words of comfort or support, but if something does happen during your withdrawal, they may not know how to help. Detoxing at our recovery center ensures that you are being watched and supported by experienced doctors and staff. We’ll monitor you closely to ensure you’re safe and healthy.
Finally, you need to use our recovery center because you are more likely to stick with sobriety. Detoxing and quitting on your own doesn’t retrain your brain. At most, you’re just one bad choice away from picking up the habit again. At our recovery center, we help your brain rewire itself. When you’re faced with a trigger that would normally cause you to smoke, our center can teach you how to avoid picking up a cigarette again and instead choose a healthy way to deal with the trigger. Combined with medication-assisted treatment, our center is your best chance at finally quitting smoking and living a healthier lifestyle.
Another way some smokers fall back into the habit of smoking is because holding or using a cigarette becomes part of their daily habits. You may not even think twice about smoking when speaking on the phone or playing a game or drinking some coffee. These physical triggers can be treated alongside your emotional ones. Our recovery center can help you overcome them.
Learn More About Bupropion and Medication-Assisted Treatments Today
If you’re ready to stop smoking and embrace a healthier lifestyle, then you need to make your way to Granite Recovery Centers. Through our medication-assisted treatments, you can overcome your addiction. By receiving our high-quality therapy, you can lay down the foundation of a nicotine-free life. To find out more about bupropion, our medication-assisted treatment, or quitting smoking, be sure to contact our office. Together, we can make it possible to quit smoking.