bupropion extended-release (antidepressant) - oral, Aplenzin, Wellbutrin XL
GENERIC NAME: BUPROPION EXTENDED-RELEASE (ANTIDEPRESSANT) - ORAL (bue-PROE-pee-on)
BRAND NAME(S): Aplenzin, Wellbutrin XL
WARNING: Bupropion is an antidepressant used for smoking cessation and to treat a variety of conditions, including depression and other mental/mood disorders. Antidepressants can help prevent suicidal thoughts/attempts and provide other important benefits. However, a small number of people (especially people younger than 25) who take antidepressants for any condition may experience new or worsening depression, other mental/mood symptoms, or suicidal thoughts/attempts. Therefore, it is very important to talk with the doctor about the risks and benefits of antidepressant medication, even if treatment is not for a mental/mood condition.
Tell the doctor immediately if you notice new or worsening depression/other psychiatric conditions, unusual behavior changes (including possible suicidal thoughts/attempts), or other mental/mood changes (including new/worsening anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, irritability, hostile/angry feelings, impulsive actions, severe restlessness, very rapid speech). Be especially watchful for these symptoms when a new antidepressant is started or when the dose is changed.
If you are using bupropion to quit smoking and experience any of these symptoms, stop taking it and contact your doctor right away. Also, tell your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms after stopping treatment with bupropion.
Quick GuidePhysical Symptoms of Depression in Pictures
USES: This medication is used to treat depression. It may also be used to prevent seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that occurs each year at the same time (for example, during winter). This medication can improve your mood and feelings of well-being. It may work by restoring the balance of certain natural substances (dopamine, norepinephrine) in the brain.OTHER This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.This medication may also be used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or to help people quit smoking by decreasing cravings and nicotine withdrawal effects. It may also be used along with other mood stabilizers to treat bipolar disorder (depressive phase).
HOW TO USE: Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using bupropion and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily in the morning. If you have stomach upset, you may take this medication with or after a meal or snack. Taking this medication late in the day may cause trouble sleeping (insomnia). Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.Do not crush or chew extended-release tablets. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split the tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.The dosage is based on your medical condition, liver function, and response to treatment. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.It may take 4 weeks or longer before you get the full benefit of this drug. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
SIDE EFFECTS: See also Warning section.Dry mouth, sore throat, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, headache, decreased appetite, weight loss, constipation, trouble sleeping, increased sweating, or shaking (tremor) may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.An empty tablet shell may appear in your stool. This effect is harmless because your body has already absorbed the medication.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, mental/mood changes (such as anxiety, agitation, confusion, unusual behavior/thinking, memory loss), unusual weight loss or gain.Stop taking bupropion and get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: seizure.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), painful sores in the mouth/around the eyes, severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
PRECAUTIONS: Before taking bupropion, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney problems, liver disease, use/abuse of drugs/alcohol, seizures or conditions that increase your risk of seizures (including brain/head injury, brain tumor, eating disorders such as bulimia/anorexia nervosa, withdrawal treatment for alcohol/sedative drug dependence).This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Alcohol can increase your risk of dizziness or seizures.Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness and memory loss. Dizziness can increase the risk of falling.During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Since untreated depression can be a serious condition, do not stop taking this medication unless directed by your doctor.This drug passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.A product that may interact with this drug is: pimozide.Taking MAO inhibitors with this medication may cause a serious (possibly fatal) drug interaction. Avoid taking MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine) during treatment with this medication. Most MAO inhibitors should also not be taken for two weeks before and after treatment with this medication. Ask your doctor when to start or stop taking this medication.This medication may interfere with certain medical/laboratory tests (including brain scan for Parkinson's disease, urine screening for amphetamines), possibly causing false results. Tell laboratory personnel and all your doctors you use this drug.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: seizures, severe confusion, hallucinations, rapid heart rate, loss of consciousness.
Quick GuidePhysical Symptoms of Depression in Pictures
NOTES: Do not share this medication with others.Keep all regular medical and psychiatric appointments. Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as blood pressure, liver function) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
STORAGE: Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised March 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
Daily Health News
Subscribe to MedicineNet's Depression Newsletter
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.