Generic name: bupropion [ byoo-PRO-pee-on ]
Brand names: Aplenzin, BuPROPion (Eqv-Wellbutrin SR), BuPROPion (Eqv-Zyban Advantage Pack), Forfivo XL, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL
Drug class: Miscellaneous antidepressants
What is Wellbutrin XL?
Wellbutrin XL is an antidepressant 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.
Wellbutrin XL side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, itching, fever, swollen glands, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).
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), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Wellbutrin XL may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:
a seizure (convulsions);
confusion, unusual changes in mood or behavior;
blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights;
fast or irregular heartbeats; or
a manic episode--racing thoughts, increased energy, reckless behavior, feeling extremely happy or irritable, talking more than usual, severe problems with sleep.
Common side effects of Wellbutrin XL may include:
dry mouth, sore throat, stuffy nose;
ringing in the ears;
nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite, constipation;
sleep problems (insomnia);
tremors, sweating, feeling anxious or nervous;
confusion, agitation, hostility;
headache, dizziness; or
muscle 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.
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
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 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.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
a head injury, seizures, or brain or spinal cord tumor;
kidney or liver disease (especially cirrhosis);
depression, 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.
Ask your doctor about taking this medicine if you are pregnant. It is not known whether Wellbutrin XL will harm an unborn baby. However, you may have a relapse of depression if you stop taking your antidepressant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Do not start or stop taking this medicine without your doctor's advice.
If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of bupropion on the baby.
It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.
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 and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed. Too much of this medicine can increase your risk of a seizure.
You may take Wellbutrin XL with or without food.
Swallow the extended-release tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.
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 first 2 weeks of treatment. Talk to your doctor if you have trouble quitting after taking Zyban for 7 to 12 weeks.
Your doctor may prescribe a nicotine replacement product (such as patches or gum) to help you stop smoking. Start using the nicotine replacement product on the same day you stop (quit) smoking or using tobacco products.
Some people taking Wellbutrin XL (Wellbutrin or Zyban) have had high blood pressure that is severe, especially when also using a nicotine replacement product (patch or gum). Your blood pressure may need to be checked before and during treatment with this medicine.
Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.
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 may affect a drug-screening urine test and you may have false results. Tell the laboratory staff that you use Wellbutrin XL.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Skip the missed dose and use your next dose at the regular time. Do not use two doses at one time.
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.
Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how Wellbutrin XL will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.
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 affect Wellbutrin XL. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
Wellbutrin XL and Wellbutrin SR are different formulations of the antidepressant bupropion. Both Wellbutrin XL and Wellbutrin SR may cause weight gain or weight loss, but weight loss is more common. Not everyone taking these drugs will experience a change in weight. Continue reading
Wellbutrin XL is an extended release tablet which releases more slowly than the Wellbutrin SR tablet which is released faster. Wellbutrin SR is only used for major depressive disorder (MDD), whereas Wellbutrin XL can be used for both MDD and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) Continue reading
Stopping Wellbutrin (brand name for bupropion) suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms. If you want to stop taking Wellbutrin, it’s important to talk to your doctor first. Your doctor can help you slowly lower your dose if needed and stop taking Wellbutrin safely. Continue reading
You may notice an improvement in your sleep, energy and appetite in the first week or two of taking Wellbutrin and this can be an important sign that the drug is working. But, like other antidepressants, improvements in your mood or motivation may take 6 to 8 weeks to develop. Continue reading
Auvelity worked significantly better than Wellbutrin (bupropion) at relieving symptoms of depression in a small randomized double-blind, parallel trial that lasted for 6 weeks. It also had a faster onset of effect, with improvement in the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) score being observed as early as week 1 and differences being statistically significant by week 2. Continue reading
Both Auvelity and Wellbutrin are effective for depression but a small RCT (n=80) reported that Auvelity worked significantly better than Wellbutrin and took less time to start working. 43 people prescribed Auvelity experienced an overall decrease in their Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) score of 13.7 points after 6 weeks compared to a decrease of 8.8 points in the 37 people prescribed bupropion (least-squares mean difference=-4.9; 95% CI=-3.1, -6.8). Continue reading
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