1 What is Wellbutrin?

Brand: Wellbutrin, Aplenzin, Budeprion, Zyban

Generic: Bupropion

Brand: Wellbutrin, Aplenzin, Budeprion, Zyban

Generic: Bupropion

Wellbutrin is an antidepressant drug used to treat mood disorders, particularly depression, major depressive disorder, and seasonal affective disorder. It relieves symptoms by restoring the balance of certain brain chemicals, particularly dopamine. It also enhances mood and a sense of well-being among depressed individuals.

Wellbutrin is also used to treat other mood and behavioral disorders, such as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). It even helps smokers stop smoking by reducing cravings and other nicotine-related withdrawal symptoms.

Read your medication guide and follow your doctor’s prescription at all times.

Take Wellbutrin orally before or after meals, three times a day, with at least six hours between doses, per doctor’s orders. Take the drug with food if you experience an upset stomach.

The dosage depends on your medical condition and treatment response. Usually, the recommended dose is not more than 150 milligrams, or 450 milligrams within 24 hours. Do not adjust your dose without your doctor’s recommendation. Your doctor will gradually increase your dose to prevent serious side effects such as seizures and insomnia.

Take the medication during waking hours and make sure your last dose for the day is not too close to bedtime to prevent difficulty sleeping.

Avoid alcohol and activities that require mental alertness (i.e. driving, operating machinery, etc.), as this medication can cause dizziness.

Continue taking Wellbutrin on a regular schedule and do not stop taking it abruptly without consulting your doctor.

Do not chew, crush, or break an extended-release tablet; swallow the medicine whole.

In patients with moderate-to-severe hepatic impairment, the maximum dose of Wellbutrin is 75mg per day. However, if the person is suffering from mild hepatic impairment, the dose limit or frequency will be reduced.

You should not take Wellbutrin if you have an eating disorder, seizures, take sedatives, or abruptly stopped consuming alcohol.

If you are already taking zyban medication to quit smoking, do not take Wellbutrin, or vice versa.

Inform your doctor immediately if your condition does not improve or worsens.

Take a missed dose as soon as possible. However, make sure that the time interval between the missed and next dose is not too close. Otherwise, stick with the regular schedule and leave out the missed dose.

Do not double dose to cover up a missed one. Record your missed dose and inform your doctor immediately if you’ve missed several doses.

Sudden stopping of this medication can cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Check with your doctor on how to safely stop using the medicine. There is also a chance during the intake of Wellbutrin that, if you provide urine for testing, it can show false drug screening results, so inform the laboratory staff that you are taking it.

When taking Wellbutrin, avoid alcohol, as it can cause seizures. If you are a regular drinker before taking it, check with your doctor on the amount of alcohol you can drink, since stopping consumption suddenly can also increase the risk of seizures.

Be careful while driving or doing any activity that requires your mind to be alert, as Wellbutrin can impair your thinking and reactions.

It may take four weeks or more before you notice the full benefits of this medication. Even if you feel better, do not stop this medication unless told by your doctor.

Wellbutrin may interact with:

  • Amantadine
  • Iomeprol (X-ray dye)
  • Levodopa
  • Products with nicotine
  • Regular use of alprazolam or other sedatives
  • Stimulants like caffeine
  • Tamoxifen
  • Warfarin
  • MAO inhibitor drugs (i.e. phenelzine, procarbazine, selegiline)
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Orphenadrine
  • Clopidogrel
  • Carbamazepine, phenytoin, or other anti-seizure medications
  • HIV/AIDS medications (i.e. ritonavir)
  • Rifampin
  • Citalopram
  • Flecainide
  • Paroxetine, sertraline, or other antidepressants
  • Haloperidol, or other antipsychotic drugs
  • Metoprolol, or other high blood pressure medications
  • Corticosteroids, like prednisone
  • Theophylline

Some drugs may either lessen the beneficial effects or worsen the side effects of Wellbutrin. Likewise, Wellbutrin may make some drugs less efficient or intensify their side effects.

Inform your doctor of all other drugs you are currently taking (including prescribed and non-prescribed medications including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products) to check for possible drug interactions with Wellbutrin.

Never alter the doses of other medications while on Wellbutrin, and do not stop or start any medicine without the doctor’s recommendation.

There are no known side effects aside from a possible allergic reaction in people who have previous or unknown hypersensitivity to the drug.

If you have used an MOA inhibitor in the past 14 days, avoid the use of Wellbutrin, as it can cause a serious drug interaction. MOA inhibitors include linezolid, methylene blue injection, rasagiline, selegiline, and isocarboxazid.

Though rare, it is possible for Wellbutrin to cause seizures, especially in patients with specific medical conditions or who are using another medication. Inform your doctor in advance of all medications taken, along with your complete medical history.

If you are being treated with a reversible MAO inhibitor such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue, do not take Wellbutrin. Drug interactions can increase the risk of hypertensive interactions. If you have a severe psychiatric condition, hospitalization should be considered.

In some cases, a patient who is already on Wellbutrin may require linezolid or intravenous methylene blue, if there are no alternatives available. The potential benefits of linezolid or intravenous methylene blue should be weighed against the risks of hypertensive reactions before use. Wellbutrin can be promptly stopped and linezolid or intravenous methylene blue administered in its place. Make a note to monitor progress for two weeks or until 24 hours after the last dose of linezolid or intravenous methylene blue, whichever comes first. Once monitoring is complete and there are no severe side effects, Wellbutrin can be started again.

Very few people have experienced suicidal tendencies when first taking an antidepressant. Regular visits to the doctor are a must while using Wellbutrin. The doctor will also keep track of your blood pressure. Close family and friends should be supportive of the person’s condition and be alert to any changes in their mood or behavior.

Any new or existing symptoms that worsen should be reported to the doctor right away. Mood swings, panic attacks, insomnia, restlessness, hyperactivity, suicidal tendencies, aggression, and coordination issues are a few symptoms you can experience while taking Wellbutrin.

Watch out for signs of allergic reactions, such as:

  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Swelling

Before taking Wellbutrin, be sure to inform your doctor of the following:

  • Any allergies to substances, foods, or medications, particularly to bupropion (Wellbutrin)
  • Medical history or a present condition, such as:

If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are currently breastfeeding a baby, be cautious. It is not certain if Wellbutrin can harm the unborn child, but it can pass through breast milk. The risks and benefits of using this medication during pregnancy must be discussed thoroughly with your doctor.

Side Effects

Inform your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms while taking Wellbutrin:


The below side effects are considered medical emergencies and should be reported right away:

  • Convulsions
  • Manic attacks such as increased energy, extreme happiness or irritability, talking non-stop, or severe sleep problems
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Blurry vision, pain or swelling in the eye, tunnel vision
  • Sore throat, burning sensation in the eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that leads to blistering and peeling
  • Psychosis and other neuropsychiatric reactions

Older adults are more sensitive to the side effects of this medication, the most common being dizziness and memory loss. Dizziness in turn increases the risk of falling. Proper care should be taken for the elderly dealing with depression.

Wellbutrin is extensively metabolized in the liver to active metabolites, which are further metabolized and excreted via the kidneys. The risk of adverse reactions may be greater for patients with impaired renal functions. Since elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, it is necessary for the doctor to consider this before starting the medication. Regular monitoring of renal function should be carried out.

Adverse results of Wellbutrin intake include:

The safety and effects of Wellbutrin in kids under the age of 18 aren’t established. Wellbutrin can induce concerning weight loss (more than five pounds) within 28 percent of people who consume it. It must not be used when such weight loss might be hazardous to the patient. It may impair harmonization or psychological abilities; patients must not drive or operate heavy machinery until it is certain Wellbutrin doesn’t affect their ability to safely perform such actions.

Wellbutrin's effects during pregnancy aren’t understood well; it is not suggested for pregnant women. The drug also passes into breast milk and thus could result in a serious rejoinder in the newborn. Women should not breastfeed while taking this medicine.

Wellbutrin should not be halted abruptly for individuals with the following medical conditions:

  • A history of confiscations (for instance, epilepsy) or brain harm, as Wellbutrin could lower the confiscation threshold, particularly with larger doses.
  • A history of anorexia or bulimia, since the frequency of attacks can be amplified

Wellbutrin is FDA-approved for adults with depression coupled with seasonal changes, major depressive disease, and those needing smoking termination help.

Wellbutrin is also used to treat:

  • ADHD
  • Major melancholy
  • Bipolar disease (depressive stage)
  • Chronic exhaustion syndrome
  • Cocaine addiction
  • Lower back pain

Bupropion is similarly used to help people stop smoking. When taken for this, it is promoted under the name Zyban, which contains a different dosage of bupropion from medicines used to treat mental disorders.

As with numerous medications, there are benefits and disadvantages to treating bipolar disorder with Wellbutrin. In addition to acting as an antidepressant, it has also proven to recover sex drive and support weight loss. Unlike other antidepressants, Wellbutrin does not produce as much “hyper switching”.

There’s substantiation that Wellbutrin can aid social nervousness and comprehensive anxiety. Nevertheless, it doesn’t help combat panic attacks and may even make them worse. This is why some people stop taking Wellbutrin. For people who don’t have terror or panic attacks, it is still a good option, particularly in combination with an anticonvulsant stabilizer, such as lithium.

Wellbutrin is not recommended for patients with a history of annexations, anorexia, or bulimia, as it can increase the risk for seizures. Bupropion is cited in old reviews as benefitting children and adolescents with ADHD, particularly children with depression along with ADHD. It acts differently than other SSRIs. It must be used with caution in conjunction with other antidepressants to treat bipolar disorder; the drug can cause suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults.

Recent studies have shown that, when complementing a mood stabilizer to treat bipolar depression, bupropion is not harmful and may provide great relief. There is also some indication that it might be beneficial in managing methamphetamine addiction. Other studies have demonstrated how bupropion dampens the level of the provocative arbitrator TNF-alpha, indicating it may be advantageous in treating inflammatory bowel infection or other autoimmune diseases. It also shows some aptitude in treating neuropathic pain.

Wellbutrin should be used with caution in people with the following conditions:

  • Weight loss related to depression
  • Liver/kidney disease
  • Patients over the age of 60
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Drug addiction
  • Diabetes

2 Related Clinical Trials