Effect of sustained-release (SR) bupropion on craving and withdrawal in smokers deprived of cigarettes for 72 h
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Sustained-release (SR) bupropion enhances quit rates of smokers, generally decreases tobacco withdrawal, and in some studies, reduces craving.
Investigate the effects of SR bupropion on craving and withdrawal during cigarette abstinence.
Twenty three smokers participated in three 17-day periods composed of 14 out-patient days followed by 3 (72 h) in-patient days. During the out-patient days, subjects received SR bupropion, placebo, or no drug. During the in-patient days, subjects were abstinent from cigarettes on two occasions while receiving either SR bupropion or placebo and smoked freely during the other occasion. SR bupropion was titrated over the first three out-patient days followed by a fixed dose (300 mg/day) for 14 days (including the three in-patient abstinence days). Cigarette craving, withdrawal, and selected physiological measures were assessed repeatedly over the 72-h periods.
During the 72-h periods, craving intensity was significantly lower with free smoke and SR bupropion than with placebo, and significantly lower during free smoke than during SR bupropion. Overall withdrawal symptoms were significantly lower with free smoke than with either placebo or SR bupropion. Among individual withdrawal symptoms (excluding craving), appetite increase was significantly reduced during SR bupropion compared to placebo. During placebo and SR bupropion, craving intensity displayed a circadian pattern that was different from that observed during free smoke.
SR bupropion reduced craving and appetite increase during smoking abstinence. These findings support the hypothesis that craving and withdrawal symptoms may be controlled by distinct central nervous system pathways.