Generic Name: bupropion (bue-PROE-pee-on)
Brand Name: Wellbutrin
Antidepressants may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or actions in children, teenagers, and young adults. However, depression and certain other mental problems may also increase the risk of suicide. Talk with the patient's doctor to be sure that the benefits of using Wellbutrin outweigh the risks.
Although Wellbutrin is not used to help patients stop smoking, another brand of medicine that contains bupropion is approved for this use. Serious mental or mood problems, including depression and suicidal thoughts or actions, have been reported in some patients using bupropion to help them stop smoking.
Family and caregivers must closely watch patients who take Wellbutrin. It is important to keep in close contact with the patient's doctor. Contact the doctor at once if new, worsened, or sudden symptoms such as agitation, hostility, depressed mood, or any unusual change in mood or behavior occur. Contact the doctor right away if any signs of suicidal thoughts or actions occur. Discuss any questions with the patient's doctor.
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, benzodiazepines (eg, alprazolam), sedatives (medicines that make you sleepy), or seizure medicines (eg, phenobarbital) after long-term use
- you are taking or have taken linezolid or 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 or dependence
- if you have diabetes, low blood sugar levels, low blood sodium levels, low blood oxygen levels, kidney problems, liver problems (eg, cirrhosis), high blood pressure, heart problems (eg, congestive heart failure), increased eye pressure or glaucoma, or have had a recent heart attack
- if you have a condition that may increase the risk of seizures (eg, certain blood vessel problems in the brain, severe head injury, a tumor or infection in the brain or spinal cord, stroke)
- if you drink alcohol
- if you are taking nonprescription weight loss medicines or stimulants
- if you are taking a medicine that contains methylene blue
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Wellbutrin. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Antipsychotics (eg, haloperidol, risperidone), corticosteroids (eg, prednisone), insulin or oral medicines to treat diabetes (eg, glipizide), theophylline, tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline), or other medicine that contains bupropion because the risk of seizures may be increased
- Nicotine replacement therapy (eg, nicotine patches) because the risk of high blood pressure may be increased
- Amantadine, clopidogrel, cyclophosphamide, fluvoxamine, levodopa, linezolid, MAOIs (eg, phenelzine), nelfinavir, orphenadrine, or ticlopidine because they may increase the risk of Wellbutrin's side effects
- Carbamazepine, efavirenz, lopinavir, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifamycins (eg, rifampin), or ritonavir because they may decrease Wellbutrin's effectiveness
- Antiarrhythmics (eg, flecainide, propafenone), beta-blockers (eg, metoprolol), lorcaserin, phenothiazines (eg, thioridazine), pimozide, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (eg, fluoxetine), tricyclic antidepressants (eg, nortriptyline), or venlafaxine because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Wellbutrin
- Tamoxifen because its effectiveness may be decreased by Wellbutrin, which may lead to an increased risk of breast cancer recurrence in women with a history of breast cancer
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.
- Swallow Wellbutrin whole. Do not break, crush, divide, or chew before swallowing. If you cannot swallow Wellbutrin whole, contact your doctor.
- 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 and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take more than 1 dose within 6 hours. 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.
- Do not drink alcohol while you are taking Wellbutrin.
- Check with your doctor before you 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 use a lot 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 if you take barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital), benzodiazepines (eg, alprazolam), sedatives (medicines that make you sleepy), or seizure medicines, 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.
- If your doctor tells you to stop taking Wellbutrin, you will need to wait at least 14 days before beginning to take certain other medicines (eg, MAOIs). Ask your doctor when you should start to take your new medicines after you have stopped taking Wellbutrin.
- A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) has happened with Wellbutrin. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
- Some people may be at risk for eye problems from Wellbutrin. Your doctor may want you to have an eye exam to see if you are at risk for these eye problems. Call your doctor right away if you have eye pain, vision changes, or swelling or redness in or around the eye.
- Wellbutrin may increase blood pressure. Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure while you are taking Wellbutrin.
- If you have trouble sleeping, you may be taking your dose too close to bedtime. Talk with your doctor about changing your dosing schedule.
- Other brands of medicine that contain the same ingredient as Wellbutrin (bupropion) are available. These other brands may be used to help stop smoking or to treat depression. Do not take Wellbutrin if you are taking any other medicine that contains bupropion. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
- Wellbutrin may interfere with certain lab tests, including urine screenings for amphetamines. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking Wellbutrin.
- 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. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Wellbutrin, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
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:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Changes in appetite; constipation; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; headache; increased sweating; nausea; nervousness; restlessness; taste changes; trouble sleeping; vomiting; weight changes.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; painful sores in the mouth or around the eyes; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, throat, or tongue; swollen lymph glands; unusual hoarseness); changes in sexual desire or ability; chest pain; confusion; dark urine; delusions; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or sore throat; hallucinations; hearing problems; menstrual changes; new or worsening mental, mood, or behavior changes (eg, concentration problems, depression, panic attacks, aggressiveness, agitation, anxiety, impulsiveness, irritability, hostility, exaggerated feeling of well-being, inability to sit still); pale stools; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizures; severe or persistent headache or dizziness; severe or persistent joint or muscle pain; severe or persistent nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain; severe or persistent nervousness, restlessness, or trouble sleeping; shortness of breath; suicidal thoughts or attempts; tremor; unusual swelling; yellowing of the skin or eyes.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of Wellbutrin:
Store Wellbutrin at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 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.
- 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.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Wellbutrin or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Wellbutrin. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Wellbutrin. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Wellbutrin.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.