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All about: Wellbutrin

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Generic Name: Bupropion Tablets (bue-PROE-pee-on)
Brand Name: Wellbutrin

Antidepressants may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or actions in children and teenagers. The risk may be greater during the first few months that patients take Wellbutrin . Be sure that the benefits of using Wellbutrin outweigh the risks. Talk with the patient's doctor if you have any questions.

Family and caregivers must closely observe patients who take Wellbutrin . It is important to keep in close contact with the patient's doctor. Tell the doctor right away if the patient has symptoms like worsened depression, suicidal thoughts, or changes in behavior.


Wellbutrin is used for:

Treating depression. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Wellbutrin is an antidepressant. It works in the brain to treat depression. Exactly how it works is not known.

Do NOT use Wellbutrin if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Wellbutrin
  • you are taking any other medicine that contains bupropion
  • you have a history of an eating disorder (eg, anorexia, bulimia) or seizures (eg, epilepsy)
  • you are suddenly stopping the use of alcohol or sedatives (eg, benzodiazepines) after long-term use
  • you are taking or have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (eg, phenelzine) within the last 14 days

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Wellbutrin :

Some medical conditions may interact with Wellbutrin . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you or a family member has a history of bipolar disorder (manic depression), other mental or mood problems (eg, depression), suicidal thoughts or attempts, or alcohol or substance abuse
  • if you have diabetes, kidney problems, high blood pressure, heart problems (eg, congestive heart failure), or a recent heart attack
  • if you have a history of seizure, head injury, tumor in the brain or spinal cord, or liver problems (eg, cirrhosis)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Wellbutrin . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Amantadine, antipsychotics (eg, haloperidol, risperidone), corticosteroids (eg, prednisone), insulin, levodopa, MAOIs (eg, phenelzine), nicotine patches, oral hypoglycemics (eg, glipizide), other antidepressants (eg, fluoxetine, amitriptyline), sympathomimetics (eg, pseudoephedrine), theophylline, or tiagabine because they may increase the risk of Wellbutrin 's side effects
  • Carbamazepine, phenobarbital, or phenytoin because they may decrease Wellbutrin 's effectiveness
  • Antiarrhythmics (eg, propafenone, flecainide), beta-blockers (eg, metoprolol), phenothiazines (eg, thioridazine), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants (eg, fluoxetine), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, nortriptyline) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Wellbutrin

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Wellbutrin may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Wellbutrin :

Use Wellbutrin as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Wellbutrin comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully. Read it again each time you get Wellbutrin refilled.
  • Take Wellbutrin by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • Several weeks may pass before your symptoms improve. Do not stop taking Wellbutrin without checking with your doctor.
  • Take your doses at the same times each day at least 6 hours apart unless directed otherwise by your doctor. This may help to decrease the risk of seizures with Wellbutrin .
  • Continue to take Wellbutrin even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of Wellbutrin , skip the missed dose. Go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Wellbutrin .

Important safety information:

  • Wellbutrin may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Wellbutrin with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Check with your doctor before you drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are taking Wellbutrin ; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • Wellbutrin may increase your risk of seizures. Your risk may be greater if you also have certain medical conditions, use certain medicines, or if you drink large amounts of alcohol. Talk to your doctor to see if you may have a greater risk of seizures while taking Wellbutrin .
  • If you already drink alcohol or use sedatives, do not suddenly stop them without first checking with your doctor. Suddenly stopping them may increase your seizure risk.
  • Do not take decongestants (eg, pseudoephedrine), stimulants, or diet pills while you are taking Wellbutrin without first checking with your doctor. They may increase your risk of seizures.
  • The risk of seizures may be greater if you take Wellbutrin in high doses or for a long time. Do NOT take more than the recommended dose, change your dose, or use Wellbutrin for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • Children and teenagers who take Wellbutrin may be at increased risk for suicidal thoughts or actions. Adults may also be affected. The risk may be greater in patients who have had suicidal thoughts or actions in the past. The risk may also be greater in patients who have had bipolar (manic-depressive) illness, or if their family members have had it. Watch patients who take Wellbutrin closely. Contact the doctor at once if new, worsened, or sudden symptoms such as depressed mood; anxious, restless, or irritable behavior; panic attacks; or any unusual change in mood or behavior occur. Contact the doctor right away if any signs of suicidal thoughts or actions occur.
  • If you have trouble sleeping, you may be taking your dose too close to bedtime. Talk with your doctor about changing your dosing schedule.
  • Wellbutrin contains the same ingredients as Zyban, a medicine used to help stop smoking. Do not take Wellbutrin if you are also taking Zyban. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Use Wellbutrin with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Wellbutrin should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Wellbutrin while you are pregnant. Wellbutrin is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Wellbutrin .

Possible side effects of Wellbutrin :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Agitation; anxiety; constipation; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; headache; increased sweating; loss of appetite; nausea; nervousness; restlessness; taste changes; trouble sleeping; vomiting; weight changes.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blurred vision or other vision changes; chest pain; confusion; changes in sexual desire or ability; delusions; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever or chills; hallucinations; hearing problems; joint or muscle pain; menstrual changes; new or worsening concentration problems, panic attacks, aggressiveness, impulsiveness, irritability, hostility, exaggerated sense of well-being, inability to sit still, or other unusual or severe mental or mood changes; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizures; severe headache or dizziness; severe or persistent anxiety, agitation, restlessness, or trouble sleeping; shortness of breath; suicidal thoughts or attempts; tremor; unusual swelling; worsening depression.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include chest pain; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; fever; hallucinations; loss of consciousness; rigid or painful muscles; seizures; severe dizziness; slow or difficult breathing.

Proper storage of Wellbutrin :

Store Wellbutrin at room temperature, between 59 and 77 degrees F (15 and 25 degrees C), in a tight, light-resistant container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Wellbutrin out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Wellbutrin , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Wellbutrin is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Wellbutrin . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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