Review Article


, Volume 62, Supplement 2, pp 37-43

First online:

Use of Sustained-Release Bupropion in Specific Patient Populations for Smoking Cessation

  • Serena TonstadAffiliated withDepartment of Preventive Cardiology, Ullevål University Hospital Email author 

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Smoking cessation trials of sustained-release bupropion (bupropion SR) were initially conducted in a general population of smokers who were motivated to quit smoking. Bupropion SR has also been found to be a useful treatment of tobacco dependence in various special populations of smokers who often experience difficulty in overcoming tobacco addiction.

Point-prevalence quit rates at 6 months were higher in those treated with bupropion SR than in those receiving placebo in studies on smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (23% vs 16%) and in those with cardiovascular disease (34% vs 12%). Abstinence from smoking after treatment with bupropion SR was not affected by a history of major depression or alcoholism. Women treated with bupropion SR were just as likely as men to abstain from smoking. Approximately one-third of a study population who were initially unwilling or unable to quit smoking were able to reduce their smoking by 50% or more during therapy with bupropion SR; 14% of these went on to achieve abstinence.

Bupropion SR was well tolerated in these trials; importantly, it had no clinically significant effect on mean blood pressure in smokers, including those with hypertension, and attenuated the weight gain associated with smoking cessation, particularly in women.