Combining Zyban (bupropion) and NRT

Yes. The combination of smoking cessation, medication, nicotine replacement, and support has been proven to be far more effective than going cold turkey alone or going cold turkey with medication or gum.

 

  1. Quitting cold turkey has a success rate of just 3% to 5% at 6 months.
  2. Adding nicotine replacement to going cold turkey can increase the success rate but it doesn’t even double that 3% to 5% success rate.
  3. Cold Turkey, Nicotine replacement, plus support, can increase quit rates at 6 months to 22%, and that is much better—but not as good as it could be with medication added to the plan.
  4. The combination of medication, NRT, and counseling can increase the quit rate at 6 months to 33%.

 

According to the Physicians Desk Reference (PDR), "When subjects in this trial were followed out to 1 year, the superiority of ZYBAN and the combination of ZYBAN and NTS over placebo in helping them to achieve abstinence from smoking was maintained. The continuous abstinence rate was 30% in the subjects treated with ZYBAN and 33% for subjects treated with the combination at 26 weeks compared with 13% in the placebo group."

 

This dramatic benefit was even maintained at 1 year: "At 52 weeks, the continuous abstinence rate was 23% in the subjects treated with ZYBAN and 28% for subjects treated with the combination, compared with 8% in the placebo group."

 

Not everyone needs combination therapy—that is for the patient and physician to decide—but for those who are candidates, the success rate far exceeds that of trying to quit by going with cold turkey alone.

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