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June 3, 1998

Zyban: Two Products, Two Uses—Too Confusing?

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;279(21):1701-1702. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-21-jbk0603

To the Editor.—Physicians should be alerted to the unfortunate choice of names for the smoking cessation drug, Zyban or bupropion hydrochloride. Zyban (Grace-Sierra Co, Malpitas, Calif) is also the trade name for thiophanate with mancozeb, one of the few fungicides still approved and widely used in many areas of the United States for residential and nursery applications (Figure 1). An active metabolite of Zyban (for horticulture use) is a benzimidazole that binds β-tubulin and inhibits microtubule function. The benzimidazoles bind only weakly to mammalian tubulin, but nevertheless have been classified as potential human carcinogens based on animal studies.1,2 Mancozeb, a dithiocarbamate fungicide, has both mutagenic and teratogenic properties.3,4

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