bupropion hydrochloride extended release (Forfivo XL)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is bupropion hydrochloride extended release, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

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.

What brand names are available for bupropion hydrochloride extended release?

Forfivo XL

Is bupropion hydrochloride extended release available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes (other extended release formulations of bupropion)

Do I need a prescription for bupropion hydrochloride extended release?

Yes

What are the side effects of bupropion hydrochloride extended release?

The most common side effects associated with bupropion are:

In some people, the agitation or insomnia is most marked shortly after starting therapy. Some patients may experience weight loss. Uncommonly, patients may experience manic episodes or hallucinations. Four of every 1000 persons who receive bupropion in doses less than 450 mg/day experience seizures. When doses exceed 450 mg/day, the risk increases ten-fold. Other risk factors for seizures include past injury to the head and medications which can lower the threshold for seizures. (See drug interactions.)

Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in short-term studies in children and adolescents with depression and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of Forfivo or any other antidepressant in a child or adolescent must balance this risk with the clinical need. Patients who are started on therapy should be closely observed for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/22/2015

Quick GuidePhysical Symptoms of Depression in Pictures

Physical Symptoms of Depression in Pictures
FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

RxList Logo

Need help identifying pills and medications?

Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Depression Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors