Table 5. Varenicline and Bupropion HCl

BrandDoseSide EffectsWarning/Precautiona
RxChantix (varenicline)0.5 mg/d, days 1–3; 0.5 mg bid, days 4–7; then 1.0 mg bid through week 12Nausea, insomniaRisk of toxicity higher in patients with impaired renal function.
Not tested in children and pregnant women.
RxZyban (bupropion HCl)150 mg/d × 3 days, then increase to 300 mg/d × 7–12 weeksInsomnia, dry mouth, dizziness, rhinitisDo not take with Wellbutrin or Wellbutrin SR.
Higher incidence of seizures in patients treated for bulimia or anorexia.

bid = twice a day; HCl = hydrochloride; Rx = prescription; SR = sustained release.

aClinicians need to closely monitor all patients taking varenicline and bupropion hydrochloride (HCl). The premarketing smoking cessation studies of these medications excluded patients with serious psychiatric illness (e.g., schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder), suggesting that the safety of these medications for these patients has not been investigated.[15,20] Therefore, during smoking cessation, patients with preexisting psychiatric illness who are receiving varenicline and bupropion HCl for smoking cessation need to be especially monitored.

From: Smoking in Cancer Care (PDQ®)

Cover of PDQ Cancer Information Summaries
PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet].
Bethesda (MD): National Cancer Institute (US); 2002-.

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