Zyban Most Effective for Males, Older Smokers
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The anti-depressant bupropion (Zyban) may be an effective smoking-cessation aid for many people, but males, older individuals, and those who smoke less than 30 cigarettes per day are more likely to remain abstinent following tr
Zyban is manufactured by Glaxo Wellcome, Inc. which provided a grant to support the study.
``We can identify certain characteristics of smokers that can help predict who may have an easier time stopping than others,'' lead study author Dr. Lowell C. Dale, of the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, told Reuters Health.
``Stopping tobacco is challenging and people should use as many resources as possible to help them in their cessation efforts,'' he added.
Dale and his colleagues studied over 600 men and women who smoked at least 15 cigarettes per day but wanted to quit. These study participants were divided into four groups that were treated for 7 weeks with either a sustained-release form of bupropion--100, 150 or 300 milligrams per day--or an inactive placebo pill.
At follow-up 45 weeks later, participants who reported smoking less than two packs of cigarettes per day and males were all more likely to be abstinent, regardless of their bupropion dosage. However, higher doses of bupropion also seemed to predict abstinence, the authors report in the May issue of the journal Chest.
Participants who were aged 35 or older, who had made at least one serious quit attempt and who had no other smokers in the household were also more likely to remain abstinent, the report indicates.
``We can use these predictors to help us determine who may need more aggressive management that may include a combination of medications, more intensive counseling and follow-up, or even treatment in a residential inpatient program,'' Dale said.
In other findings, the authors note that the study participants who remained abstinent the second week after their targeted quit date were more likely to remain abstinent than those who smoked during this time period.
``The first 2 weeks of a stop attempt are very important in determining how successful the smoker will be long term in their effort to stop smoking,'' according to Dale.
``Physicians and patients need to work closely together in the first few weeks of the stop attempt to keep the person abstinent from smoking,'' he said. ``Again, that may mean combinations of medications, frequent contacts either in person or by telephone, or referral to specialists in tobacco intervention.''