GENERIC NAME: Bupropion hydrochloride extended release
BRAND NAME: Forfivo XL
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Bupropion hydrochloride is an antidepressant medication that affects chemicals within the brain that nerves use to send messages to each other. (Forfivo XL is an extended release form of bupropion hydrochloride.) Chemical messengers are called neurotransmitters. Many experts believe that depression is caused by an imbalance among the amounts of neurotransmitters that are released. Nerves may recycle neurotransmitters by a process referred to as reuptake in which the released neurotransmitters are taken up and reused (released again) by the nerves. Bupropion works by inhibiting the reuptake of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine by the nerves after they have been released, an action that results in more dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine to transmit messages to other nerves. Bupropion is unique and unlike other antidepressants in that its major effect is on dopamine, an effect that is not shared by the related selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs (for example, paroxetine [Paxil], fluoxetine [Prozac], sertraline [Zoloft]) or the tricyclic antidepressants or TCAs (for example, amitriptyline [Elavil, Endep], imipramine [Tofranil], desipramine [Norpramin]). The FDA approved Forfivo in December 1985.
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