Bupropion is indicated for the treatment of depression, as well as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and smoking cessation. Classified as an antidepressant medication, bupropion exerts its therapeutic effect by augmenting specific neuronal activity within the brain.
Uses and Dosage
Take this medication orally, with or without food, as per your physician’s instructions, usually once daily in the morning. If you experience stomach discomfort, you may consume this medication with or after a meal or snack. Administering this medication later in the day may lead to insomnia.
For optimal results, take this medication on a regular schedule at the same time each day, to assist with remembering.
Swallow the tablets whole, without crushing or chewing them, to prevent the potential for rapid release of the entire drug content, which could elevate the risk of adverse reactions.
The dosage of this medication is determined based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Your physician may instruct you to initiate the medication at a low dose and gradually increase the dosage to decrease the possibility of adverse effects. Do not alter the prescribed dose, increase the frequency of administration or extend the duration of use without consulting your physician, as this will not hasten symptom improvement and may heighten the probability of side effects.
Do not discontinue using this medication without first consulting your physician, as a gradual reduction in dose may be necessary.
It may take up to 4 weeks or longer before experiencing the full therapeutic effects of this medication. Notify your physician if your condition does not improve or worsens.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- dry mouth
- stomach pain
- uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- excessive sweating
- ringing in the ears
- changes in your sense of taste
- frequent urination
- sore throat
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- hallucinating (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
- irrational fears
- muscle or joint pain
- rapid, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
- rash or blisters
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- chest pain
Prior to initiating bupropion treatment, inform your healthcare provider or pharmacist of any allergic reactions you may have experienced with this medication or any other allergies. The product may contain inactive constituents that could potentially lead to allergic reactions or other issues.
Prior to commencing use of this medication, ensure to disclose your medical history to your healthcare provider or pharmacist, particularly if you have a history of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney or liver disease, abuse of drugs or alcohol, seizures, or conditions that increase your seizure risk, such as brain or head injury, brain tumor, eating disorders like anorexia nervosa/bulimia.
Do not use this medication if you are abruptly discontinuing the regular use of sedatives (including benzodiazepines such as lorazepam), antiepileptic medications, or alcohol, as it may heighten the risk of seizures.
This medication may induce dizziness, and the use of alcohol or marijuana can exacerbate this side effect. Refrain from driving, operating machinery, or undertaking tasks that require alertness until you can safely do so. Alcohol consumption may also increase the risk of seizures.
Older adults may be more vulnerable to the side effects of this medication, particularly dizziness and memory loss, which may increase the risk of falling.
During pregnancy, this medication should only be used if necessary. Untreated mental or mood issues like depression, bipolar disorder, or seasonal affective disorder may be severe. Therefore, do not stop taking this medication unless instructed by your physician. If you plan to become pregnant, are pregnant, or suspect you may be pregnant, speak with your doctor immediately to assess the benefits and risks of using this medication during pregnancy.
This medication passes into breast milk and may have adverse effects on a nursing infant. Consult with your physician before breast-feeding.
Form and Strength
Wellbutrin XL is available in the following forms and strengths:
Wellbutrin XL extended-release tablet:
bupropion XL extended-release tablet:
Does Wellbutrin XL give you energy?
With the increase of dopamine that Wellbutrin provides, some patients may experience a boost of energy and motivation.
How do I know if Wellbutrin is working?
Sleep, energy, or appetite may show some improvement within the first 1-2 weeks. Depressed mood and lack of interest in activities may need up to 6-8 weeks to fully improve.