Medically reviewed on May 9, 2017
What is Wellbutrin XL?
Wellbutrin XL 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.
Wellbutrin XL may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not take Wellbutrin XL 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 Wellbutrin XL within 14 days before or 14 days after you have used an 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.
Before taking this medicine
You should not take Wellbutrin XL if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
a seizure disorder;
an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia; or
Do not use an MAO inhibitor within 14 days before or 14 days after you take Wellbutrin XL. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.
Do not take Wellbutrin XL to treat more than one condition at a time. If you take this medicine for depression, do not also take Wellbutrin XL to quit smoking.
Wellbutrin XL 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 Wellbutrin XL is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
a history of head injury, seizures, or brain or spinal cord tumor;
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. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Bupropion can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
Wellbutrin XL is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
How should I take Wellbutrin XL?
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.
You may take Wellbutrin XL with or without food.
Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole.
You should not change your dose or stop using Wellbutrin XL 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 this medicine.
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 have trouble quitting after taking Zyban for 7 weeks.
Your doctor may prescribe nicotine patches or gum to help you stop smoking. Do not smoke at any time if you are using a nicotine product along with Zyban. Too much nicotine can cause serious side effects.
Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
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.
Wellbutrin XL 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 this medicine.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
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 Wellbutrin XL 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 Wellbutrin XL may increase your risk of seizures. If you drink alcohol regularly, talk with your doctor before changing the amount you drink. This medicine can also cause seizures in a regular drinker who suddenly stops drinking at the start of treatment with this medicine.
Wellbutrin XL may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
Wellbutrin XL side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives, rash or itching; fever, swollen glands, joint pain, general ill feeling; 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 side effects may include:
dry mouth, stuffy nose;
sleep problems (insomnia);
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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Wellbutrin XL?
You may have a higher risk of seizures if you use certain other medicines while taking Wellbutrin XL.
Many drugs can interact with Wellbutrin XL. Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with this medicine. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication 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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- Drug class: miscellaneous antidepressants