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Bupropion: Understanding this Multi-Use Drug

When it comes to commonly abused prescription medications, Bupropion doesn’t usually come to mind for most people. However, while this drug is abused by some people, it mainly serves a number of other purposes that can actually help addicts by treating depression and addictive compulsion simultaneously. Some addicts and alcoholics may attend a drug addiction treatment or alcohol rehab program with prior experience with Bupropion, while others will find it useful during their clinical treatment and perhaps long after. Understanding this drug’s three primary uses is vital to ensure that it is used properly and with maximum benefit.

Bupropion for Depression

Bupropion is commonly used to treat depression and depressive disorders such as bipolar and mania. It may be prescribed under a number of brand names including Wellbutrin, Zyban, Aplenzin, and others that may change from time to time. These medications can be used to treat major, debilitating depression, or they may be used to treat seasonal depression such as that associated with low-light, cold weather environments.

The exact mechanism that makes Bupropion work isn’t exactly understood, but it is thought to increase certain levels of activity in the brain that become suppressed during depressive periods. In most cases the drug is found to work best when it is administered in a slow-release formula to ensure a steady supply of the substance in the blood stream.

Bupropion is generally taken for long period of time, although in some patients short-term treatment may be beneficial. (1)

Bupropion for Quitting Smoking

One of the most common prescribed uses of Bupropion is as an anti-smoking aid. People who wish to quit smoking are often prescribed this drug in order to help them manage their cravings for cigarettes or other tobacco products. The drug wasn’t designed for this purpose, but doctors and clinicians around the country have found its powerful calming effects to be useful in the treatment of nicotine addiction – especially in people who already have issues such as depression or another emotional disorder.

The precise mode of operation that helps to control nicotine cravings in some people isn’t well-understood, but it’s likely the same processes that have made the drug useful in treating addiction to methamphetamines.

Bupropion for Methamphetamine Addiction

Bupropion is theorized to actually prevent the stimulation of neurotransmitters responsible for the “high” meth causes. According to an article discussing a study in this regard on the site Science Daily;

“The research team hypothesizes that Bupropion reduces the effects of methamphetamine by preventing the drug from entering brain cells, where methamphetamine can produce release of neurotransmitters that cause feelings of euphoria.” (2)

Other drugs being used to treat drug addiction or alcoholism work according to the same principles, so in theory it’s possible that the drug could be used to treat addiction to any substance whereby the chemical uptake of brain cells would be disrupted by the properties of the treatment substance.

If you’re struggling with a drug addiction and you’re wondering if treatment with medication is right for you, call the number at the top of your screen now for a free, confidential consultation. We can help guide you in the right direction no matter where you are, what time it is or how bad your problem is. It’s never too late to reach out for help, so why not start now?

(1) National Center for Biotechnology Information Bupropion PubMed Health October 1, 2009
Accessed 02/20/2012

(2) ScienceDaily Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment Hold Promise.¬/releases/2005/11/051128193615.htm
Accessed 02/20/2012

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