Bupropion SR

Bupropion icon

Bupropion is a pill you take twice a day. You start it 1-2 weeks before quitting. It does not contain nicotine, so it works differently than nicotine replacement medicines.


  • Simple to use so may be easier to stick with it.
  • May help delay weight gain associated with quitting.
  • If you have depression, it may help.
  • Can be combined with nicotine patches under the care of your doctor or other healthcare provider.


  • More possible side-effects than other medicines.
  • Cannot be used if you have ever had bulimia or anorexia, a seizure disorder, or are taking or recently quit taking an MAO inhibitor medicine. They are sometimes taken for depression. Check with your pharmacist or doctor if you are unsure.
  • Requires a prescription.

Possible Side Effects (talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider about what you can do for these):

  • Nausea, dizziness (try taking with food, drink plenty of water).
  • Difficulty sleeping (take evening dose in late afternoon at least 8 hours after morning dose).
  • Constipation, dry mouth (drink plenty of water, try sugarless gum).
  • Rash (stop taking and talk to your doctor).
  • Low risk of seizures (one person in a thousand – stop taking and talk to your doctor immediately).
  • Nervousness, difficulty concentrating (talk to your doctor).
  • Changes in your mood or behavior (rare – see precautions).

Bupropion SR Contraindications and Precautions (If any of these apply to you, talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider before starting to take bupropion.):

  • A history of seizures.
  • Already using bupropion for another reason.
  • A history of bulimia or anorexia.
  • Abruptly stopping use of sedating medicines or alcohol while taking bupropion.
  • Taking or recently quit taking a type of medicine called an MAO inhibitor.
  • Taking a medicine that makes you more prone to seizures.
  • Liver disease.
  • Could be pregnant or are breastfeeding.
  • Less than 18 years old.

In addition, if you decide to take bupropion and experience hostility, agitation, depression, suicidal thoughts, or changes in how you act that you don’t think are due to quitting smoking, you should stop taking the medicine and talk to your doctor right away.

More precautions and general information are available about bupropion.

The quit-smoking medicines talked about on this website are approved by the FDA for adults to use to quit cigarettes. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or younger than 18, you should not use these medicines without talking to your doctor. If you use tobacco products other than cigarettes (like cigars, chew, snuff, hookah, or e-cigarettes), talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider or call the quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) to get help with quitting. All the ways to use medicines presented here are reviewed in Smoking Cessation: A Report of the Surgeon General (Chapter 6) [PDF-1.8 MB]. Some of the ways have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA.