Depression affects people of all ages, and depressive symptoms can range from mild to severe. Additionally, depression manifests in a variety of ways, so no two people share the exact same experience. In some cases, people with depression may develop nervousness or a serious lack of motivation to interact with others, but other people suffering from depression may go on to experience suicidal thoughts or a strong desire to commit suicide. While the study of psychology has helped medical professionals treat many of the symptoms and underlying causes of depression, pharmacology has created a number of anti-depression medications to bolster a holistic approach to depression treatment, including drugs like Zyban.

What is Zyban?
Zyban (bupropion) is an anti-depression medication developed by GlaxoSmithKline. It is primarily prescribed to treat clinical depression and seasonal affective disorder, but it has also shown to be successful in smoking cessation treatment. The drug is taken on a titration schedule, meaning you would take a small dose at first and gradually increase the dose over time according to your doctor’s instructions.

For individuals using Zyban as a stop-smoking aid, the drug is typically only taken during the period of smoking cessation and discontinued thereafter. Individuals who take Zyban for clinical depression may need to take a dose every day. If Zyban is prescribed to treat seasonal affective disorder, you may only need to take a daily dose during the months when symptoms begin to appear, generally during fall and winter.

Medicare Coverage of Zyban
Zyban is covered under most Medicare Part D plans. Because this medication is available for purchase at retail pharmacies and is self-administered at home, it should be covered under the Part D prescription drug benefit. It should be noted, however, that if Zyban is prescribed to help you quit smoking, you should talk with your Medicare plan to ensure that you will receive coverage. Medicare coverage does not apply to treatments that pertain to lifestyle concerns, and your plan may or may not consider smoking cessation a lifestyle choice. If you are prescribed Zyban for depression and you happen to be able to quit smoking because of the drug, then Part D designation of coverage would likely still apply.

Although Medicare Part D is the primary source of billing for Zyban prescriptions, different scenarios may change coverage. For example, since Medicare Part A covers patient medical expenses while hospitalized or while in a skilled nursing facility, this part of Medicare may be billed if Zyban is administered while in these circumstances.

These same guidelines would be implemented if covered under a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage, but there may be additional benefits. Some Medicare Advantage plan providers may also offer discounts on additional supplements or services to support a patient through the use of Zyban.

When to Seek Treatment
As has been mentioned above, depression can lead to debilitating symptoms, and in severe cases, suicidal thoughts or actions may occur in those suffering from depression. If you are experiencing severe symptoms of depression, it’s first important to know that you are not alone. It’s also vital to seek assistance from a medical professional as soon as possible. Depression does not have to be a way of life, and whether through medications, psychological therapy or some other form, medical assistance is available to treat your symptoms and help you to live your best life. Hope and help are available today, so please contact your healthcare provider to learn about your options for treating depression.

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