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Glaxo launches pills to help smokers quit in 7-12 weeks

GLAXO SmithKline India has launched an oral treatment for smoking, called Zyban. The pill (generic - Bupropion Hydrochloride) is reportedly the first product aimed at stopping smoking and is available at Rs. 40 per tablet. Speaking to newspersons, Mr. Kalyanasundaram, Director (Pharmaceuticals), Glaxo India Ltd, said the complete treatment osts about Rs. 5000 and takes about 7-12 weeks.

In the first year of launch, Glaxo expects to target 50,000 patients which would translate to Rs.2.5 crore in sales, said Mr. Kalyanasundaram.

Zyban is a prescription-based products and a dosage of 150 mg tablet twice a day is usually prescribed, said Dr. S.M. Chandrashekhar, Medical Advisor, Glaxo India Ltd.

According to Dr. Chandrashekhar, a customized approach to the addiction was essential. "Just popping the pill is not enough, the complete treatment involves a combination of counseling and regular use of Zyban", he said.

The product, with a reported success rate of 30 per cent, has a couple of side-effects, mainly dry mouth and insomnia. "While dry mouth can be avoided by increasing fluid intake, insomnia can be reduced by taking the drug slightly earlier in the day", said Dr. Chandrashekhar.

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