Bupropion and nicotine replacement work in different ways - using both can help you quit.
It’s best to combine bupropion with nicotine replacement (if possible), because they work in different ways to help you stay off tobacco.
The bupropion helps keep your mood stable and may make the tobacco less appealing to you. The nicotine replacement will help you from going into nicotine withdrawal.
The best combination in this scenario is bupriopion twice a day, plus a nicotine patch, plus a “rescue” form of nicotine like gum, lozenges, nasal spray, or the puffer.
When you use tobacco frequently, your brain is used to having a steady level of nicotine. The patch will help provide a steady dose of nicotine over 24 hours. The rescue nicotine can then help you with those times that you’re having intense cravings, by giving you a more rapid dose of nicotine.
The ideal timeline is to start the bupropion and set a quit date for about two weeks from then. That gives the bupropion time to build up in your system and be fully active when your quit date arrives. During that first two weeks, use the rescue nicotine to try and cut back on actual tobacco as much as possible. If you smoke a pack a day, try first using gum (or other rescue products) before the cigarette, and see if you can cut down to about a quarter pack a day by your quit date. Then, the night before your quit date, put a patch on before you go to bed, and get rid of all of your tobacco paraphernalia. On the morning of your quit date take your bupropion as normal, keep the patch on, and use as much rescue nicotine throughout the day as you need.
We’ve helped thousands of people quit tobacco, and this trio of medicines has better success rates that bupropion or nicotine replacement alone.