Zyban vs Chantix – Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Differences


It is the brand name of a drug called bupropion that belongs to the family of drugs known as antidepressants. Its unique mechanism of action among antidepressants may be due to the reuptake of norepinephrine (a chemical in the brain and body that functions as a neurotransmitter and hormone) and dopamine.

This drug was originally approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1997 for use in smoking cessation.


It is typically used to help people stop smoking tobacco by reducing cravings and other withdrawal effects.


The usual recommended starting dose is one 150-mg tablet once a day for the first 3 days. Beginning the fourth day, increase the dose to 300 mg a day taken two times per day as one 150-mg tablet with an interval of at least 8 hours between each dose.

Note – if the user has not quit smoking tobacco after 7 to 12 weeks, the treatment should be discontinued.

Side Effects And Precautions Of Bupropion

Common side effects may include:

  • insomnia;
  • dry mouth;
  • nervousness;
  • shakiness;
  • headaches.

Rare side effects may include:

  • nausea;
  • dizziness;
  • constipation;
  • stomach pain;
  • loss of interest in sex;
  • increased urination;
  • weight gain or loss;
  • increased sweating;
  • itching or skin rash;
  • muscle pain;
  • a sore throat;
  • ringing in the ears;
  • changes in appetite;
  • severe headaches;
  • chest pain;
  • uncontrolled movements;
  • muscle aches;
  • memory loss;
  • confusion;
  • anxiety;
  • irregular heartbeats;
  • fainting.

To make sure that this drug is safe for you, tell your healthcare professional if you have:

  • narrow-angle glaucoma;
  • spinal cord tumor;
  • type 2 diabetes mellitus;
  • seizures;
  • high blood pressure;
  • a history of head injury;
  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease;
  • history of heart attack;
  • heart disease;
  • bipolar disorder.

This medication may interact with:

  • ulcer or irritable bowel medications;
  • theophylline (a methylxanthine drug used in therapy for asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease);
  • street drugs;
  • steroids;
  • numbing medicines;
  • narcotics;
  • medicines used to prevent organ transplant rejection;
  • drugs used to treat pituitary gland tumor;
  • drugs used to treat restless leg syndrome;
  • medicines used to treat Parkinson’s disease;
  • medications used to treat or prevent malaria;
  • medicines for motion sickness or nausea/vomiting;
  • insulin or oral diabetes medications;
  • medications used to prevent blood clots;
  • ADHD medications;
  • diet pills;
  • caffeine;
  • urinary or bladder medications;
  • birth control pills or hormone replacement estrogens;
  • asthma medications or bronchodilators;
  • antihistamines which make you sleepy;
  • antibiotics;
  • medicines used to treat psychiatric disorders;
  • seizure medications;
  • HIV or AIDS medication;
  • heart or blood pressure medications.


It is the brand name of a drug called varenicline, a smoking cessation medicine. It works by interfering with nicotine receptors in the brain. This interference considerably reduces the unpleasant symptoms of nicotine withdrawal and decreases the pleasurable effects of the nicotine.

In studies comparing this medication to a placebo, study participants who took varenicline were about 3.5 times more successful at not smoking tobacco after 3 months than people who took a placebo.


It is typically used along with counseling and education to help people stop smoking. It is not approved to help adolescents or children stop smoking.


The usual recommended starting dose is 0.5 mg once per day for three days. Starting the fourth day, the recommended dosage is 0.5 mg taken two times per day for 4 days. After the first week, the recommended dosage is 1 mg taken two times per day.

Note – it is recommended that the patient takes this medication for 12 weeks as a part of a stop-smoking plan.

Side Effects And Precautions Of Varenicline

Common side effects may include:

  • gas;
  • vomiting;
  • unusual dreams;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • constipation;
  • nausea (may persist for a few months).

Rare side effects may include:

  • uncomfortable chest pressure;
  • mental health problems;
  • shortness of breath;
  • heart or blood vessel problems;
  • feeling light-headed;
  • back pain;
  • pain in one or both arms.

Some people may experience nicotine withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include:

  • a state of near-paralysis;
  • vagueness;
  • feelings of dependency;
  • sweating;
  • intense needs;
  • headaches;
  • temper tantrums;
  • tingling in the hands and feet;
  • an intestinal disorder;
  • insomnia;
  • depression;
  • cold symptoms as the lungs begin to clear;
  • mental confusion;
  • anxiety;
  • irritability.

To be sure that this medication is good for you, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • take blood thinners;
  • take asthma medicines;
  • take insulin;
  • take any other medicines including over-the-counter medicine and prescription medicines, herbal supplements, and vitamins;
  • are breastfeeding – this medication may pass into breast milk;
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant – there are no conclusive clinical studies regarding its safe use during pregnancy;
  • have liver disease;
  • have kidney problems.

Zyban vs Chantix – Differences

Zyban (active ingredient – bupropion) is a drug prescribed by your healthcare provider to help you stop smoking. It belongs to a class of drugs called antidepressants. For most users, this medication reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms, like – frustration, irritability, anxiety, anger, restlessness, trouble concentrating, and depression.

Chantix (active ingredient – varenicline) is in a group of drugs called partial cholinergic nicotinic agonists. While it does not contain nicotine, this medication functions by stimulating nicotine receptors in the brain, hence, reducing cravings for smoking cigarettes.

In conclusion, both these medications are used to help people quit smoking, but have different main ingredients. The problem is that they have many side effects. It is better to use your will and other natural methods to quit smoking.

Effective Methods To Help You Quit Smoking

#1 St. John’s Wort

It is mainly used to treat depression, however, according to some research and anecdotal evidence, this medicinal herb may help people quit smoking much easier.

#2 Ginseng

It stops the release of dopamine (the molecule behind all our most secret cravings and sinful behaviors) that is the leading contributor to why people enjoy the act of smoking tobacco. To use it, you may include a tsp of ginseng powder into your breakfast.

#3 Grape Seed Extract

It is made from the ground seeds of red wine grapes and contains a high quantity of proanthocyanidins. According to the data, this supplement helps reduce the damage caused to the lungs due to smoking.

#4 Physical Activity

Your potential to quit smoking tobacco is considerably increased when you practice a daily physical exercise for at least 30 minutes. Also, the exercise should be vigorous enough to hit at about 80% of your max heart rate. Doing this, your body releases chemicals called endorphins (natural opiate-peptide chemicals).

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