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Forum Name: Antidepressants

Question: Zyban being used for depression


 smithsm - Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:49 am

A family member who is in a deep depression was given Zyban 6 days ago by a GP. He does smoke but and needs to quit but our main concern for now is not the smoking but to get him well. He has had suicidal urges in the past (5 years ago ) and his depression and moods have gotten worse in the last few days. I am questioning if this medication was a good chioce. This family member lives alone and it is hard to monitor the situation well.
 Dr. E. Seigle - Tue Jul 15, 2008 4:06 pm

Dear smithsm,

Zyban is the brand name of the generic drug bupriopion, which is both an antidepressant and used for smoking cessation. It's antidepressant brand name is Wellbutrin, and Zyban is the name used for smoking cessation. It's all the same drug, although there are different forms, including immediate release, slow-release, and extended release. The important issues include that your father receive an adequate dose, for an adequate period of time, that he be monitored regularly, that his target symptoms of depression be clearly defined and followed, and that it be considered that he may need psychotherapy in addition to the medication.

I'm not sure why his doctor chose Zyban as the form of bupropion to use, though sometimes insurance coverage or the availability of free samples can be a rationale. You may just want to be sure that your father's doctor is treating your father's depression, and not smoking cessation alone.

Good luck! -E. Seigle MD

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