, Volume 62, Supplement 2, pp 25–35 | Cite as

Clinical Efficacy of Bupropion in the Management of Smoking Cessation

Review Article


Nicotine addiction is a chronic relapsing condition that can be difficult to treat. Until recently, pharmacological options for the treatment of tobacco dependence were primarily limited to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Sustained-release bupropion (bupropion SR) is the first non-nicotine pharmacological treatment approved for smoking cessation. Bupropion SR is recommended for first-line pharmacotherapy alongside NRT in the updated US Clinical Practice Guidelines and the UK Health Education Authority Guidelines. The UK National Institute of Clinical Excellence recommends NRT and bupropion SR for smokers who have expressed a desire to quit smoking. This review presents evidence that bupropion SR is an effective first-line therapy for smoking cessation in a wide range of patient populations. It is associated with significantly higher smoking cessation rates compared with placebo in patients with or without a history of prior bupropion SR or NRT use, and its effect is independent of gender. Bupropion SR treatment is effective in the prevention of relapse to smoking in those patients who have successfully quit, and re-treatment is effective in smokers who recommence smoking after a previous course of bupropion SR. Bupropion SR treatment relieves the symptoms of craving and nicotine withdrawal, and attenuates the weight gain that often occurs after smoking cessation. Data collected from motivational support programmes and employer-based studies provide strong evidence of the effectiveness of bupropion SR as an aid to smoking cessation in ‘real life’ situations, and confirm the efficacy seen in clinical trials.


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Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Center for Tobacco Research and InterventionUniversity of Wisconsin Medical SchoolMadisonUSA

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