Wellbutrin

Generic Name: Bupropion

  • What is Wellbutrin?

    Wellbutrin is used to treat major depressive disorder.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Wellbutrin?

    Antidepressant medicines, including Wellbutrin, may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teenagers, and young adults when the medicine is first started. Depression and other serious mental illnesses are the most important causes of suicidal thoughts and actions. People with bipolar disorder or who have a family history of this condition (also called manic-depressive illness) are at a greater risk. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any changes, especially sudden ones, in mood, behavior, thoughts, or feelings. Signs to watch for include new or worsening depression, anxiety, agitation, insomnia, hostility, panic attacks, restlessness, extreme hyperactivity, and suicidal thinking or behavior. This is very important when an antidepressant medicine is first started or when the dose is changed.

    Wellbutrin may cause unusual thoughts or behaviors such as delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, or confusion. Call your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

    Do not take Wellbutrin if you are taking a medication called Zyban, which is used to help quit smoking, as they contain the same active ingredient.

    Wellbutrin may cause seizures. Let your doctor know if you have a history of seizures.

    Wellbutrin may cause an allergic reaction. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any symptoms of an allergic reaction such as rash, itching, shortness of breath, or hives.

    Wellbutrin may increase your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly, especially if you already have high blood pressure.

    Wellbutrin may cause weight loss.

  • Who should not take Wellbutrin?

    Do not take Wellbutrin if you are allergic to any of its ingredients, if you have a seizure disorder, anorexia or bulimia (eating disorders), if you are going through alcohol recovery, if you are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors or MAOIs (a class of drugs used to treat depression, psychiatric or emotional disorders, or Parkinson's disease), Zyban, Wellbutrin SR, or Wellbutrin XL.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Wellbutrin?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Wellbutrin. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have had seizure problems, eating disorders, a drug or alcohol addiction, any heart problems, liver and/or kidney problems, or if you have diabetes.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: The usual starting dose is 200 milligrams (mg) a day, taken as 100 mg twice a day. Depending on your response, the doctor may increase the dose to 300 mg a day, taken as 100 mg three times a day, no sooner than 3 days after beginning therapy. The maximum daily dose for Wellbutrin is 450 mg. Taking doses greater than 450 mg a day may increase the risk of serious side effects, including seizures.

  • How should I take Wellbutrin?

    Take Wellbutrin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Take Wellbutrin at the same time(s) every day, at least 6 hours apart. You can take Wellbutrin with or without food.

  • What should I avoid while taking Wellbutrin?

    Do not drink alcohol while taking Wellbutrin.

    Do not drive a car or use heavy machinery until you know how Wellbutrin affects you.

    Do not stop taking Wellbutrin suddenly without first speaking to your doctor.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Wellbutrin?

    Wellbutrin should never be combined with MAOIs or taken within 14 days of each other. Combining these drugs with Wellbutrin can cause serious and even fatal reactions such as high body temperature, muscle rigidity, twitching, and agitation, leading to delirium and coma.

    If Wellbutrin is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Wellbutrin with the following: alcohol, amantadine, carbamazepine, cimetidine, clopidogrel, cyclophosphamide, desipramine, efavirenz, flecainide, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, haloperidol, imipramine, levodopa, MAOIs (including phenelzine, tranylcypromine, isocarboxazid), metoprolol, nelfinavir, nicotine patches, norfluoxetine, nortriptyline, orphenadrine, paroxetine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, propafenone, risperidone, ritonavir, sertraline, systemic steroids, theophylline, thioridazine, thiotepa, and ticlopidine.

  • What are the possible side effects of Wellbutrin?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: seizures, abnormal behavior, difficulty sleeping, increased blood pressure, agitation, headaches, nausea, vomiting, confusion, dizziness, skin problems such as rashes, dry mouth, constipation, tremor, increased sweating

  • Can I receive Wellbutrin if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Wellbutrin during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Wellbutrin?

    If you miss a dose of Wellbutrin, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Wellbutrin?

    Store at room temperature.

Meet the Pharmacists

I'm Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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