RESEARCH – June 2006

Bupropion for the treatment of nicotine dependence in patients with chronic bronchitis


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Symptoms of chronic bronchitis can disappear and detoriation of lung function can be avoided after quit of cigarette smoking. Less than 6% of self-attempts to quit finally succeed. Bupropion SR, with noradrenergic and dopaminergic properties, has been demonstrated as an effective aid to smoking cessation.
Objective. To evaluate the efficacy, safety and tolerability of bupropion SR (ZybanTM) for the treatment of nicotine dependence in a population with chronic bronchitis.
Methods. At three Estonian centres, 53 smokers with chronic bronchitis, motivated to quit, received bupropion 150 mg twice daily for 8 weeks. Regular visits, telephone contacts and motivational support were provided until a follow-up visit after 26 weeks from the quit date. Analyses were based on the intent-to-treat population.
Results. Efficacy: Continuous abstinence rate was 43% (23 subjects) at the end of treatment and 32% (17 subjects) at week 26. No remarkable short-term weight gain was detected. Safety and tolerability: Four subjects were withdrawn due to adverse events. Eight subjects (15%) were withdrawn for protocol violation and consent withdrawn on the first days of treatment without making any attempt to quit.
Conclusion. Bupropion SR was an effective and well-tolerated treatment for smoking cessation in smokers with chronic bronchitis, with a profile of adverse events similar to that established in general population studies.
Subjects who did not quit smoking reduced markedly the number of smoked cigarettes per day (from 18 to 1.6) during the treatment period.