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Bupropion

Generic Name: bupropion (byoo PRO pee on)
Brand Names: Aplenzin, Buproban, Forfivo XL, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, Zyban, Zyban Advantage Pack, Budeprion XL

Medically reviewed by Sanjai Sinha, MD Last updated on Dec 18, 2018.

What is bupropion?

Bupropion is an antidepressant medication used to treat major depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder. The Zyban brand of bupropion is used to help people stop smoking by reducing cravings and other withdrawal effects.

Bupropion may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

You should not take bupropion if you have seizures or an eating disorder, or if you have suddenly stopped using alcohol, seizure medication, or sedatives. If you take Wellbutrin for depression, do not also take Zyban to quit smoking.

Do not use bupropion within 14 days before or 14 days after you have used a MAO inhibitor, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine.

Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.

Bupropion may cause seizures, especially in people with certain medical conditions or when using certain drugs. Tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions and the drugs you use.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Before taking this medicine

Do not use bupropion if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

You should not take bupropion if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • a seizure disorder;

  • an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia; or

  • if you have suddenly stopped using alcohol, seizure medication, or a sedative such as Xanax, Valium, Fiorinal, Klonopin, and others.

Do not use an MAO inhibitor within 14 days before or 14 days after you take bupropion. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.

Do not take this medicine to treat more than one condition at a time. If you take bupropion for depression, do not also take this medicine to quit smoking.

Bupropion may cause seizures, especially if you have certain medical conditions or use certain drugs. Tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions and the drugs you use.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • a history of head injury, seizures, or brain or spinal cord tumor;

  • narrow-angle glaucoma;

  • heart disease, high blood pressure, history of heart attack;

  • diabetes;

  • kidney or liver disease (especially cirrhosis);

  • bipolar disorder or other mental illness; or

  • if you drink alcohol.

Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using bupropion. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether bupropion will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.

Bupropion can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How should I take bupropion?

Take bupropion exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Too much of this medicine can increase your risk of a seizure.

Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole.

You should not change your dose or stop using bupropion suddenly, unless you have a seizure while taking this medicine. Stopping suddenly can cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Ask your doctor how to safely stop using bupropion.

If you take Zyban to help you stop smoking, you may continue to smoke for about 1 week after you start the medicine. Set a date to quit smoking during the second week of treatment. Talk to your doctor if you are having trouble quitting after you have used Zyban for at least 7 weeks.

Your doctor may prescribe nicotine patches or gum to help support your smoking cessation treatment. Read all directions and safety information for the nicotine product. Do not smoke at any time if you are using a nicotine product along with Zyban. Too much nicotine can cause serious side effects.

You may have nicotine withdrawal symptoms when you stop smoking, including: increased appetite, weight gain, trouble sleeping, trouble concentrating, slower heart rate, having the urge to smoke, and feeling anxious, restless, depressed, angry, frustrated, or irritated. These symptoms may occur with or without using medication such as Zyban.

Smoking cessation may also cause new or worsening mental health problems, such as depression.

This medicine can cause you to have a false positive drug screening test. If you provide a urine sample for drug screening, tell the laboratory staff that you are taking bupropion.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of bupropion can be fatal. Overdose symptoms may include muscle stiffness, hallucinations, fast or uneven heartbeat, shallow breathing, or fainting.

What should I avoid while taking bupropion?

Drinking alcohol with bupropion may increase your risk of seizures. If you drink alcohol regularly, talk with your doctor before changing the amount you drink. Bupropion can also cause seizures in people who drink a lot of alcohol and then suddenly quit drinking when they start using the medication.

Bupropion may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Bupropion side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to bupropion: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a seizure (convulsions);

  • unusual changes in mood or behavior;

  • a manic episode - racing thoughts, increased energy, reckless behavior, feeling extremely happy or irritable, talking more than usual, severe problems with sleep;

  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights;

  • fast heartbeats; or

  • severe skin reaction, fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Common bupropion side effects may include:

  • dry mouth, stuffy nose;

  • nausea, constipation;

  • sleep problems (insomnia);

  • feeling anxious;

  • dizziness; or

  • joint pain.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect bupropion?

You may have a higher risk of seizures if you use certain other medicines while taking bupropion.

Many drugs can interact with bupropion. Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use bupropion only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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