Background: CYP2B6 is the primary enzyme involved in bupropion (Zyban; GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina) metabolism. Genetic polymorphisms in CYP2B6, such as CYP2B6*6, can alter bupropion metabolism and may affect bupropion treatment outcome.
Methods: Subjects participated in a smoking cessation clinical trial of bupropion versus placebo. The main outcome was a 7-day point prevalence abstinence rate measured 10 weeks after the start of treatment (i.e., end of treatment) and at the 6-month follow-up; secondary outcomes were severity of adverse effects, withdrawal, and urge to smoke. Subjects were haplotyped for the CYP2B6*6 variants.
Results: Among smokers in the CYP2B6*6 group (CYP2B6*1/*6 or CYP2B6*6/*6 genotype, n = 147, 45% of the population), bupropion produced significantly higher abstinence rates than placebo at the end of treatment (32.5% vs. 14.3%, p = .01) and at the 6-month follow-up (31.2% vs. 12.9%, p = .008). In contrast, bupropion was no more effective than placebo for smokers in the CYP2B6*1 group (CYP2B6*1/*1, n = 179) at the end of treatment (31.0% vs. 31.6%, p = .93) or at the 6-month follow-up (22.0% vs. 21.5%, p = .94). There was a significant genotype by treatment interaction at the end of treatment (odds ratio [OR] = 2.97, confidence interval [CI] = 1.05-8.40, p = .04), which was similar at 6-month follow-up (OR = 2.98, CI = .98-9.06, p = .05).
Conclusions: These data suggest that smokers with the CYP2B6*6 genotype have a higher liability to relapse on placebo and that they may be good candidates for bupropion treatment for smoking cessation.