Efficacy and safety of bupropion for smoking cessation and reduction in schizophrenia: systematic review and meta-analysis

Br J Psychiatry. 2010 May;196(5):346-53. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.109.066019.


Background: The benefits and harms of bupropion as an aid for smoking cessation in schizophrenia remain uncertain.

Aims: To summarise the current evidence for efficacy and safety of bupropion as treatment for nicotine dependence in schizophrenia.

Method: Systematic review and random-effects meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing bupropion with placebo or alternative therapeutic control in adult smokers with schizophrenia.

Results: Twenty-one reports from seven RCTs were included. Biochemically verified self-reported smoking cessation rates after bupropion were significantly higher than placebo at the end of treatment (risk ratio (RR) = 2.57, P = 0.004) and at 6 months (RR = 2.78, P = 0.05). Expired carbon monoxide level was significantly lower with bupropion at the end of therapy (P = 0.002) but not at 6 months (P = 0.37). There was no significant difference in positive (P = 0.28) or negative symptoms (P = 0.49) between the bupropion and the placebo group.

Conclusions: Bupropion increases the rates of smoking abstinence in smokers with schizophrenia, without jeopardising their mental state.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bupropion / adverse effects
  • Bupropion / therapeutic use*
  • Diagnosis, Dual (Psychiatry)
  • Humans
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / rehabilitation*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Bupropion