Wellbutrin XL

Generic Name: Bupropion

  • What is Wellbutrin XL?

    Wellbutrin XL is used to treat major depression and seasonal depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

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

    Antidepressants can increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressants or are taking a new dose should be watched closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual behavior. Patients and their families should contact the doctor immediately if new symptoms develop or seem to get worse. Signs to watch for include anxiety, hostility, sleeplessness, restlessness, impulsive or dangerous behavior, and thoughts about suicide or dying.

    Wellbutrin XL is associated with a risk of inducing seizures. The risk of having seizures increases with higher doses, and for those who have certain medical problems or are taking certain medicines.

  • Who should not take Wellbutrin XL?

    Do not take Wellbutrin XL if you have a seizure disorder, anorexia or bulimia (eating disorders), or if you are going through alcohol recovery. In addition, you should not take Wellbutrin XL if you are taking Zyban or any other medicines that contain bupropion hydrochloride, such as Wellbutrin or Wellbutrin SR, or if you have suddenly stopped taking sedatives.

    Do not take monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) within 2 weeks before or after treatment with this medication. In some cases a serious, possibly fatal, reaction may occur. Examples of MAOIs include selegiline and the antidepressants phenelzine and tranylcypromine.

    Do not begin treatment with Wellbutrin XL if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.

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

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Wellbutrin XL. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have a history of seizures, eating disorders, liver or kidney problems, addiction (such as drug or alcohol problems), head injury, tumor in your brain or spine, heart problems, high blood pressure, or 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 dose is 150 milligrams (mg) once a day in the morning. Depending on your response, the doctor may increase the dose to 300 mg once a day.

    Seasonal Affective Disorder

    Adults: The usual dose is 150 mg once a day in the morning, starting in autumn before the onset of depressive symptoms. Depending on your response, the doctor may increase the dose to 300 mg once a day. If you are taking 300 mg a day, your doctor may taper the dose to 150 mg a day for 2 weeks before telling you to stop taking Wellbutrin XL in early spring.

  • How should I take Wellbutrin XL?

    Wellbutrin XL is a once-daily tablet. Take it at the same time every day at least 24 hours apart. You can take Wellbutrin XL with or without food.

    If you experience nausea, take Wellbutrin XL with food. If you have trouble sleeping, do not take Wellbutrin XL close to bedtime.

    Do not chew, cut, or crush Wellbutrin XL tablets; you must swallow the tablets whole.

  • What should I avoid while taking Wellbutrin XL?

    You should not drink a lot of alcohol while taking Wellbutrin XL. If you currently drink a lot of alcohol and suddenly stop, you should tell your doctor, since this may increase your risk of having a seizure. You should also not drive a car or operate heavy machinery until you know how this drug affects you.

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

    If Wellbutrin XL 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 XL with the following: alcohol, amantadine, other antidepressants including MAOIs, antipsychotics, blood pressure drugs known as beta-blockers, carbamazepine, cimetidine, efavirenz, fluvoxamine, antiarrhythmics such as propafenone and flecainide, lamotrigine, levodopa, nelfinavir, nicotine patches, norfluoxetine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, ritonavir, steroids, and theophylline.

  • What are the possible side effects of Wellbutrin XL?

    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: weight loss, dry mouth, insomnia, nausea, dizziness, sore throat, loss of appetite, skin rash, infection, sweating, ringing in the ears, tremor, fast heartbeat, anxiety, frequent urination

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

    The effects of Wellbutrin XL 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 XL?

    Do not double your next dose. Skip the dose you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. This is very important because taking too much Wellbutrin XL can increase your risk of having a seizure.

  • How should I store Wellbutrin XL?

    Store at room temperature away from light and moisture.

Meet the Pharmacists

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

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