Bupropion sustained release for treatment of tobacco dependence

Mayo Clin Proc. 2003 Aug;78(8):1020-4; quiz 1024. doi: 10.4065/78.8.1020.


Tobacco use is a global pandemic. The most common pharmacological treatments of tobacco use and dependence include nicotine replacement therapy and nonnicotine medications. Bupropion sustained release (SR) is the only first-line nonnicotine medication recommended by the US Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guideline. Randomized controlled clinical trials have shown that bupropion SR doubles abstinence rates compared with placebo. Long-term treatment with bupropion SR may reduce or delay smoking relapse. Bupropion SR has an excellent adverse effect profile, although a risk exists for serious adverse effects such as seizures. The risk of serious adverse effects associated with bupropion SR can be reduced by careful selection of patients. This article reviews the evidence of efficacy and common adverse effects of bupropion SR and delineates the clinical characteristics of patients at higher risk for adverse effects when bupropion SR is prescribed for treatment of tobacco use and dependence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation / adverse effects
  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation / therapeutic use*
  • Bupropion / adverse effects
  • Bupropion / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / etiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / chemically induced
  • Patient Selection
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / drug therapy*


  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation
  • Bupropion