Bupropion may help schizophrenic patients quit smoking

Smokers diagnosed with schizophrenia had higher smoking cessation rates when treated with bupropion than with a placebo, according to a study led by Dr. Tony George at Yale University. Bupropion is a medication used to help people quit smoking and to treat depression. Researchers randomly assigned 32 schizophrenic cigarette smokers, who were clinically stable on antipsychotic medications and with a strong desire to quit smoking, to receive bupropion or placebo for 10 weeks. During the study, participants were periodically evaluated for smoking urges, depression, and symptoms of schizophrenia. They also attended weekly smoking cessation group therapy that included motivational enhancement therapy, social skills training, and relapse-prevention strategies.