HC Deb 28 January 2003 vol 398 cc818-9W
Paul Flynn

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his estimate is of the likely(a) fatal and (b) nonfatal side effects of Zyban if used for six months. [92605]

Ms Blears

Zyban (bupropion hydrochloride) was licensed in June 2000 as an aid to smoking cessation in combination with motivational support in nicotine-dependent patients. The maximum treatment course authorised in the United Kingdom is seven to nine weeks. Zyban should not be used for six months and therefore it is not possible to give an estimate of the likely fatal and non-fatal side effects of Zyban if used for this period of time.

Zyban is an effective aid to smoking cessation, and like all effective medicines is not without side effects. Since its launch in the United Kingdom, full guidance on prescribing and use, including possible side effects, have been present in the summary of product characteristics for health professionals and patient information leaflet for patients.

The side effects that are recognised to occur more commonly, ie, could happen to more than one in 100 people, in association with Zyban are non-serious including insomnia, urticaria, rash, headache, dizziness and nausea. Serious side effects do occur in association with Zyban, albeit rarely. These include seizures (fits or convulsions) which occur with an incidence of approximately 0.1 per cent., (one in 1,000) and hypertension and severe hypersensitivity reactions (which may occur in between one in 1,000 and one in 10,000 people taking Zyban). Of these, seizures and severe hypersensitivity reactions are potentially life threatening.