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Zyban (bupropion, welbutrin), DHEA, Smoking, and Depression

James Howard jmhoward at sprynet.com
Tue Oct 7 13:13:49 EST 1997

If you will read my theory of sleep at http://www.naples.net/~nfn03605 
on the web, you will read that I think REM sleep is the result of 
increased DHEA at night, during sleep.  I posted here, in the past, my 
suggestion that instead of zyban, one might take DHEA to help with 
stopping smoking.  Also, here at the section on "depression," I have 
posted about DHEA and depression.  That is, my work suggests depression 
results from too little DHEA, or a break-down in the melatonin - DHEA 
cycle, such that too little DHEA is available.  In the following 
quotation concerning zyban (bupropion), you may read that bupropion, an 
antidepressant, shortens the time to REM sleep and increases REM sleep. 
 I suggest this is the effect of zyban increasing DHEA.

James Howard

Am J Psychiatry 1995 Feb;152(2):274-276 

"REM sleep enhancement by bupropion in depressed men,"  Nofzinger EA, 
Reynolds CF 3rd, Thase ME, Frank E, Jennings JR, Fasiczka AL, Sullivan 
LR, Kupfer DJ  Sleep and Chronobiology Center, University of Pittsburgh 
School of Medicine, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, PA 15213. 

"OBJECTIVE: The authors compared the effects of bupropion, fluoxetine, 
and cognitive behavior therapy on EEG sleep in depressed subjects. 
METHOD: All-night sleep EEG studies were performed before treatment and 
after partial or full remission on 18 men with depression diagnosed 
according to Research Diagnostic Criteria and randomly assigned to 
treatment with either bupropion (N = 7) or fluoxetine (N = 11). Response 
to these drugs was measured by changes in Hamilton Depression Rating 
Scale scores. Pre- and posttreatment EEG sleep study results before and 
after treatment with cognitive behavior therapy were also available for 
18 men matched in age and severity of Hamilton depression scale score, 
and one-time EEG sleep measures were available for 36 men who were not 
depressed. RESULTS: REM latency was reduced and REM sleep percent and 
REM time increased after treatment in the depressed men given bupropion. 
These effects contrasted with the effects of fluoxetine and cognitive 
behavior therapy. CONCLUSIONS: This study represents the first report of 
an antidepressant medication that shortens REM latency and increases REM 
sleep. If confirmed, this finding may require a revision of our current 
understanding of the relation among depression, REM sleep, and 
anti-depressant mechanisms."

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