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Has anyone used Wellbutrin to quit smoking?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I've decided to quit smoking after too many years. Well, I've come to the realization that I need to do it, and I'm working on convincing my willpower it's something we need to do. I went in for my annual exam, and my doctor and I came up with a game plan. I'm going to cut down on my smoking and starting in a month or so, I'm going to quit and take Wellbutrin to help with the cravings. Has anyone used Wellbutrin? What was your experience and do you have any hints?
post #2 of 20
I haven't tried it, but I do know a few who have. It's really a 50-50 chance of it working...some people swear by it & others said it didn't work at all. I think it really depends on the individual, their chemistry with the drug & how hard they are wanting to quit. I'm actually thinking about trying it once I get moved...maybe even a before that. My apt is non smoking & it's time for me to quit. I've tried cutting back, but with all the stress I seem to be smoking more. Also just a tip from my Pharmacy days...have your Dr write a prescription for Wellbutrin, not for Zyban. It's actually the same exact drug, but most insurances won't pay for Zyban since it's targetted for smokers. But they will pay for Wellbutrin because it is targetted for depression. The cost is about the same if you don't have insurance for medications, but it definitely helps those who do have a copay.
Good luck Christy...if you try it please let me know how it's working for you.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks Shell. The prescription is for Wellbutrin and not Zyban, so hopefully (fingers crossed) insurance pays for it. I've planned to start taking it a week or two before I have to go out of town for our national meeting. I figured this way, having a change of scenery will help to break the ingrained habits I have here in Cleveland, and may make the drug work better (or make it easier to quit). And don't worry, I'll let you know (in a while ) if it works.
post #4 of 20
Your insurance should pay for it. I've only ran across one insurance company that didn't pay for antidepressants in the 5 years I was in the Pharmacy. BTW, it takes a good 2 to 4 weeks for it to completely work...so the sooner you start the better you'll be before your trip. You might want to read up about it too...some people get drowsey from it & other get wired on it. Also some people say they get an upset tummy or diahreah from it too...so be prepared for that. That would be awful to have the "hersey squirts" on your trip! LOL!
post #5 of 20
Well,I tried Wellbutrin about a year ago and it actually made me nervous.I was just nervous for no reason,and when I'm nervous I smoke more,so I probably actually smoked more while I was taking them.I have almost a whole bottle sittin' in my med cabinet and refills to boot.
I agree with Shell about it being an individual thing,so you just need to try it and see how well it works for you.I have heard that people have a lot better chance of quitting if they take Wellbutrin(Zyban)and do the patches at the same time.Good luck.
post #6 of 20
Depending on your insurance, they may ask the MD to send something in writing saying that the drug is prescribed for depression, not smoking-cessation, even if he wrote the script for welbutrin. My MD had to do that with Blue Cross in NY. (I take it as an anti-depressant.)

Now I don't smoke, but the last time that I took it, I stopped biting my nails for the first time in my life! It may take a few weeks to kick in though; that is pretty common with most of those types of drugs. It seems to have a minimum of side effects, or at least, does in my case. The main problem I have with it is a 'slow-down' in the GI process (so to speak) but I take a magnesium supplement that nicely offsets that!
post #7 of 20
Wellbutrin made me feel really nauseous. I didn't want to smoke, but I didn't want to get out of bed either. I think it works fine for many people, though.

I put out my last cigarette just over 2 months ago (after being a smoker for 7 years)and am nearing the end of a nicotine replacement plan. I'm using Commit Lozenges. They're by Nicorette, and are basically the gum in cough drop form. I'm slowly replacing them with breath mints and should be completely nicotine free in another month.

Wellbutrin can be used along with a nicotine replacement plan, which I bet would boost your chances of success even more. I would've done it this way myself if the meds agreed with me.

Good luck!

post #8 of 20
I have no experience with Wellbutrin at all being a non-smoker. But I just wanted to wish you good luck in kicking the habit.
post #9 of 20
My husband tried Wellbutrin and it made him shaky. He had heart issues and it also accelerated his heart rate(he has some wierd side effects, tylenol makes him sleepy.)so he had to stop taking it. We've tried collectively, patches, wellbutrin, cold turkey, hypnotism, and nicotine gum. Sigh.
post #10 of 20
I used to take Wellbutrin for depression and I could only use the SR--if they used the regular I got totally high and whacked for about 3-4 hours. I understand that the regular Wellbutrin causes that for a lot of people. The side effect was that I quit smoking while on it. I could smoke one cigarette, but then I'd get so sick I'd have to throw up.

My husband tried Wellbutrin for quiting smoking and it didn't work for him for a few reasons:

#1--he expected the med to make him stop smoking and he didn't do anything on his own (you have to try to stop and want to stop)

#2--he didn't take it on a regular schedule (you need to keep a certain level of the med in your system at all times for it to work well)

#3--he didn't take it long enough, only one month's worth and I understand it takes several months to cut the smoking craving

After I got off of Wellbutrin I started smoking again because I had no intentions of quitting at the time. When I really did quit, it was about a year ago and it was because I could no longer breathe (spent some time in the hospital for breathing treatments).

I'd also recommend getting a support group. You need to be able to talk to people who know what you're going through because they're going through it too. It really does help.
post #11 of 20
It did't work for Ted & me.
post #12 of 20
I used Wellbutrin for smoking cesation before they had the other one (same thing, different name). It worked well for me. But it's not the total answer. You do have to remember that the drug itself will not make you stop smoking, as some have already said here. What it does is to help ease some of the symptoms of withdrawl and even out your moods.

It is also used for depression and narcolepsy (helps with narcoleptic cataplexy). And it does have a bit of a stimulant affect. But that should usually even out a bit once your body gets used to it. If you feel shakey or nervous you should call your doctor and ask if you can take a lower dose and work your way up. That's really the best way.

By the way, I've been smokeless for 15 years now!
post #13 of 20
I was on it, for about three months. Here it is, 3 1/2 years later and I'm still 1+ pack-a-day. It had no effects, good or bad, for me.

The patch just made me itch and cold turkey makes me homicidal. Thinking about trying the gum or lozenges.
post #14 of 20
Quitting was the hardest thing i've done in my life. Just don't quit quitting!
post #15 of 20
Since reading this post I have looked into getting a prescription for Wellbutrin. I want to quit smoking but I fear the withdrawl symptoms that I may have when quitting.
My question is, how do I go about getting a prescription for it? I don't have a family doctor and I don't go to a psychiatrist for depression so how do I go about finding a doctor who will prescribe Wellbutrin? Can I just go to a doctor and ask for it?
post #16 of 20
Yes, just go to your regular doctor and explain that you want some help to quit smoking. Tell him/her you're intersted in Wellbutrin and see what they say.
post #17 of 20
I was on Zyban for a couple of weeks and I had absolutely no desire to smoke when I was on it. First time I didn't care about cigarettes since I started smoking. I was a little spacy on it, but could function pretty well. I had to stop taking it after 2 weeks as I developed an allergic reaction to it. It takes 2 weeks to work into your system, therefore 2 weeks to show allergic responses. I had hives from head to toe, and was so uncomfortably itchy I almost put myself into a hospital. Took close to 2 weeks to work back out of my system so I was a real mess for a while. Really pissed me off, cause it was truly helping me quit.
post #18 of 20
My husband used it and although it did work for him, he had to cut back on the daily dosage because it made him itch, especially his palms, so badly that he wanted to peel his skin off.

He told me that when he tried the patch a few years earlier, it was much easier, but fortunately didn't last too long for him because circumstances got him to smoking again. He said if he fell off the wagon this time, he'd use the patch again instead of the drugs.
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by Coco Maui
My question is, how do I go about getting a prescription for it? I don't have a family doctor and I don't go to a psychiatrist for depression so how do I go about finding a doctor who will prescribe Wellbutrin? Can I just go to a doctor and ask for it?
I actually got the prescription from my gynecologist. She's really into the "whole body and person" view of medicine. We talked about general health issues, and when I said I smoked and wanted to quit, we discussed various options and decided on Wellbutrin. Perhaps this might be a route for you.
post #20 of 20
I agree...almost any kind of doctor can prescribe them. Gyno's usually really push it since it's dangerous to smoke & be on birth control at the same time (chances of blood clots are tremendously higher for women who do both).
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