BACKGROUND: This study evaluated the efficacy of bupropion for relapse prevention in smokers with and without a past history of major depressive disorder. Changes in depressive symptoms were also examined.
DESIGN: Data were gathered prospectively from a randomized, double-blind relapse prevention trial of bupropion conducted at five study sites. A total of 784 smokers (54% female, 97% white) were enrolled. Using the Structured Clinical Interview for Depression, 17% of the subjects reported a past history of major depressive disorder at baseline. All subjects received open-label bupropion SR (300 mg/d) for 7 weeks. Subjects abstinent from smoking at the end of 7 weeks (N= 429) were randomized to bupropion SR (300 mg/d) or placebo for the remainder of the year and followed for 1 year off medication. The primary outcome measures were median time to relapse to smoking and the 7-day point-prevalence smoking abstinence rate. Self-reported abstinence from smoking was verified by expired air carbon monoxide. The Beck Depression Inventory was used to assess depressive symptoms at baseline and at weeks 8 and 12.
RESULTS: Median time to relapse did not differ by past history of major depressive disorder. Bupropion was associated with higher point-prevalence smoking abstinence at the end of medication compared to placebo (P= .007), independent of a past history of major depressive disorder. Moreover, change in depressive symptoms during the double-blind phase did not differ for those with and without a past history of major depressive disorder.
CONCLUSIONS: Extended use of bupropion for relapse prevention is effective for smokers with and without a history of major depression.