The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of adding sustained-release (SR) bupropion to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) on smoking behavior and stability of psychiatric symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. We conducted a 3-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of bupropion SR, 150 mg/day, added to a concurrent CBT program with 3-month follow-up in 19 stable outpatients with schizophrenia who wanted to quit smoking. Eighteen subjects completed the trial. Bupropion treatment was associated with significantly greater reduction in smoking, as measured by self-report verified by expired-air carbon monoxide (6/9 subjects, 66%), than placebo (1/9 subjects, 11%) during the 3-month active treatment period and the 3-month follow-up period. One subject in the bupropion group (11%) and no subjects in the placebo group achieved sustained tobacco abstinence for the 6-month trial. Bupropion treatment was associated with improvement in negative symptoms and greater stability of psychotic and depressive symptoms, compared with placebo, during the quit attempt. Subjects in the bupropion group experienced significant weight loss, compared with those on placebo during the smoking cessation attempt. These data suggest that bupropion SR, 150 mg/day, combined with CBT, may facilitate smoking reduction in patients with schizophrenia while stabilizing psychiatric symptoms during a quit attempt.

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