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How a New Name Can Push an Old Product Name

To give different brand names to actually the same product is the usual and rather popular marketing policy. For example, it can be done to customize the names to speech habits in certain countries, where the product is intended for sale. Different names can also be used to underline the different fields of application of the same product. Sometimes new names help producers raise the sales of old products, the popularity of which have decreased.

Such brand names as Wellbutrin and Zyban are known to plenty of people around the world, especially to those, who suffer from depression or want to quit smoking. Very often these names are followed by indexes “SR” or “XL”, the meaning of which is mostly out of people’s understanding.

These drugs look absolutely different at first glance due to their different names, but is it really so and what do those strange indexes mean?

Actually, Wellbutrin and Zyban are two brand names from GlaxoSmithKline Company, defining the same substance, called bupropion hydrochloride. That is, so to say, “passport name” of the drug, and Wellbutrin and Zyban are just nicknames, created for the customers to be able to keep them easily in mind.

Bupropion is in fact an antidepressant agent, controlling the levels of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine – chemical substances in brains, which transfer signals between certain nerves. Misbalance in their quantity may lead to psychological disorders, like depression.

In spite of actual similarity in chemical formulas of Wellbutrin and Zyban, there is a difference between them. It is in their different fields of applications: Wellbutrin is used to treat major depression condition, while Zyban is approved by FDA and is marketed as the treatment option, helping to quit smoking.

Moreover, when looking for Wellbutrin, one can see that there are 3 types of it: Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR and Wellbutrin XL.

To show the difference let me give a little bit of history. Wellbutrin was initially approved in 1985 as the medication against depression. But several years of its usage showed serious side effect – increased number of seizure cases among patients, treated with Wellbutrin. As the result the pill lost its popularity of the market.

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The developers found out that the speed of drug’s influence on brains is the key factor, causing such side effects and immediately offered Wellbutrin in sustained – release tablets (SR). Wellbutrin SR does not cause seizures because it releases bupropion into the body at a constant and gradual rate.

Wellbutrin XL (extended release) tablet is the newest version of the drug. XL indicates increased period of bupropion releasing from tablet, thus ensuring best safety, efficiency and convenience in use (it is once-a-day pill).

Finally, it will be interesting to note that Wellbutrin and Zyban are not all nicknames of bupropion. In Colombia it is known as Odronal, in Thailand as Quomen and as Well in Korea.


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