Effect of bupropion on physiological measures of stress in smokers during nicotine withdrawal

Michael Kotlyar, Lisa H. Brauer, Mustafa N al'Absi, David E. Adson, William N Robiner, Paul Thuras, Jennifer Harris, Mary E. Finocchi, Carrie A. Bronars, Suzanne Candell, Dorothy K Hatsukami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Studies suggest that among cigarette smokers trying to quit, stress undermines abstinence. Little research has assessed if therapies that increase smoking cessation rates impact physiological measures of stress response. Forty-three subjects completed this repeated-measures study in which a laboratory assessment was completed at baseline and after 17 days of treatment with either placebo (n = 15), bupropion sustained release (150 mg twice daily) (n = 14) or bupropion with stress reduction counseling (n = 14). All subjects quit smoking 3 days prior to the second laboratory assessment. At each laboratory assessment physiological measures of stress (i.e. blood pressure, heart rate, plasma epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol concentrations) were measured during rest periods and in response to a speech, a math and a cold pressor task. Among subjects taking placebo, physiological measures of stress were generally lower at rest and during the stressors after smoking cessation. In those taking bupropion these measures were equivalent at the two assessments. Additionally, compared to placebo, those on bupropion had a greater diastolic blood pressure response to the speech stressor and greater systolic blood pressure response to the math stressor during the second laboratory session. This study suggests that bupropion may be maintaining physiological measures of stress during the nicotine withdrawal period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-379
Number of pages10
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Blood pressure
  • Bupropion
  • Catecholamines
  • Cortisol
  • Heart rate
  • Mental stress
  • Nicotine addiction
  • Smoking cessation


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of bupropion on physiological measures of stress in smokers during nicotine withdrawal'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this