Wellbutrin and Chantix
Varenicline and bupropion are both safe and effective for tobacco smoking cessation, but each has a different mechanism of action.
Varenicline is a specific partial nicotine-receptor agonist that targets the alpha-4 beta-2 nicotinic receptor. It is thought to work by reducing craving and withdrawal symptoms, and by reducing reinforcement of the smoking habit due to its satisfying or enjoyable effects.
Bupropion is a dopamine/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor that also may function as a nicotinic actetylcholine-receptor antagonist.
Wellbutrin vs Chantix
Several studies compared varenicline (Chantix) to bupropion SR (Wellbutrin/Zyban). At 3 months about 44% of those taking varenicline were able to stop smoking, compared to just 30% of those taking bupropion SR4.
Chances of continuous smoking abstinence are also higher with Chantix. In one study2, the abstinence rate at 1 year was 23% for varenicline, compared with 15% for bupropion.
The latest smoking cessation trial focused on young smokers compared varenicline and bupropion XL. Over the 8-week course of treatment5, participants receiving varenicline reduced the number of cigarettes per day from 14.1 ± 6.3 to 0.9 ± 2.1 and 4 smokers achieved abstinence. Those receiving bupropion XL reduced the number of cigarettes per day from 15.8 ± 4.4 to 3.1 ± 4.0 and 2 achieved abstinence.
Varenicline with Bupropion combination
Can you take Chantix and Wellbutrin together at the same time? The benefits and risks of varenicline in combination with bupropion have not been well studied. However, these drugs have different therapeutic targets and there is no drug interaction between them.
The study published study in "Nicotine and Tobacco Research" provides early evidence that bupropion SR and varenicline combination may be more effective in helping people stop smoking than monotherapies3.
The study participants smoked about 19.9 cigarettes per day for an average of 30 years. The smokers were given 1 mg of varenicline twice a day along with 150 mg of bupropion twice a day for 12 weeks. Abstinence rates were 71% at 3 months (the end of treatment) and 58% at six months. At six months, combination therapy continued to appear more effective than monotherapy.
The latest 2014 study combined use of varenicline and bupropion, compared with varenicline alone, may increase prolonged smoking abstinence 8.
A one-month supply of varenicline will cost about $70 for the maintenance dose (1mg 60 tablets). It is more expensive than generic bupropion SR, which one-month supply costs $36 (150mg 60 tablets). And persons who smoke one pack per day will spend an average of $150 per month on cigarettes6.
Author: OriginalDrugs Team