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The waiting game

Time to turn the focus onto the softer aspects of GP care

The smoking cessation therapy bupropion does not increase the risk of sudden death, a new study reports.

Researchers concluded the safety fears over bupropion were unfounded after analys-ing records from 9,329 smokers who had been prescribed the treatment.

Only two patients taking bupropion died within the first 28 days of treatment, just half as many as expected among a population of this size.

The study did suggest the treatment might raise the risk of seizures four-fold, although the increase fell short of statistical significance and was no greater than with other antidepressants used in the treatment of depression.

Dr Joe West, a member of the study team and Wellcome research fellow in the division of epidemiology and public health, University of Nottingham, said: 'We found little evidence of bupropion being unsafe and the benefits of giving up smoking are huge.'

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