Generic Name: Bupropion Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is bupropion used for?

Bupropion is used to treat depression. It can improve your mood and feelings of well-being. It may work by helping to restore the balance of certain natural chemicals (neurotransmitters) in your brain.

Bupropion 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 be used to prevent autumn-winter seasonal depression (seasonal affective disorder). This drug may also be used with other medications to treat bipolar disorder (depressive phase).

How should I take bupropion?

Take this medication by mouth, with or without food, usually three times daily. If stomach upset occurs, you may take this drug with food. It is important to take your doses at least 6 hours apart or as directed by your doctor to decrease your risk of having a seizure.

Do not take more or less medication or take it more frequently than prescribed. Taking more than the recommended dose of bupropion may increase your risk of having a seizure. Do not take more than 150 milligrams as a single dose, and do not take more than 450 milligrams per day.

Your dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Your dose may be slowly increased to limit side effects such as sleeplessness, and to decrease the risk of seizures. To avoid trouble sleeping, do not take this medication too close to bedtime. Let your doctor know if sleeplessness becomes a problem.

Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day.

Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.

It may take 4 or more weeks before you notice the full benefit of this drug. Continue to take this medication as directed by your doctor even after you feel better. Talk to your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.

How do I store bupropion?

Bupropion is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store bupropion in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of bupropion that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush bupropion down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using bupropion?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of bupropion or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

Tell your doctor if you are taking a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), linezolid (Zyvox), methylene blue, phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), and tranylcypromine (Parnate), or if you have stopped taking an MAO inhibitor within the past 14 days. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take bupropion.

Do not take more than one product containing bupropion at a time. You could receive too much medication and experience severe side effects.

Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had seizures, anorexia nervosa (an eating disorder) or bulimia (an eating disorder). Also tell your doctor if you drink large amounts of alcohol but expect to suddenly stop drinking or you take sedatives but expect to suddenly stop taking them. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take bupropion.

Tell your doctor if you drink large amounts of alcohol, use street drugs, or overuse prescription medications and if you have ever had a heart attack; a head injury; a tumor in your brain or spine; high blood pressure; diabetes; or liver, kidney, or heart disease.

You should know that bupropion may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.

Talk to your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking bupropion. Alcohol can make the side effects from bupropion worse.

You should know that bupropion may cause an increase in your blood pressure. Your doctor may check your blood pressure before starting treatment and regularly while you are taking this medication, especially if you also are using nicotine replacement therapy.

You should know that bupropion may cause angle-closure glaucoma (a condition where the fluid is suddenly blocked and unable to flow out of the eye causing a quick, severe increase in eye pressure which may lead to a loss of vision). Talk to your doctor about having an eye examination before you start taking this medication. If you have nausea, eye pain, changes in vision, such as seeing colored rings around lights, and swelling or redness in or around the eye, call your doctor or get emergency medical treatment right away.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using bupropion during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking bupropion. Bupropion is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from bupropion?

Common side effects include dry mouth, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, flushing, headache, loss of appetite, constipation, trouble sleeping, increased sweating, strange taste in mouth, joint aches, dizziness, or blurred vision. Antidepressants may increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults. Tell your doctor if this occurs.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle pain
  • Mild itching or skin rash
  • Increased sweating
  • Increased urination
  • changes in appetite
  • Weight loss or gain

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • Seizure (convulsions)
  • Fast heartbeats
  • Fever, swollen glands, rash or itching, joint pain, or general ill feeling
  • Confusion, trouble concentrating, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior
  • 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

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; 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, 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.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with bupropion?

Bupropion may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with bupropion?

Bupropion may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with bupropion?

Bupropion may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

  • Alcohol use
  • Arteriovenous malformation (circulation problem)
  • Brain tumor or infection
  • Eating disorders (e.g., anorexia, bulimia)
  • Head injury
  • Seizure disorder
  • Stroke
  • Bipolar disorder (type of depression)
  • Glaucoma, angle closure
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Mania or hypomania (type of mental disease)
  • Psychosis (type of mental disease)
  • Schizophrenia (type of mental disease)
  • Diabetes
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood)
  • Hypoxia (low oxygen in the blood)
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using bupropion.

What is the dose of bupropion for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Depression:

Immediate release tablets:

  • Initial dose: 100 mg orally twice a day.
  • Maintenance dose: The dosage may be increased in 75 to 100 mg/day increments not more often than every 3 days up to the usual maintenance dose of 100 mg orally 3 times a day.
  • The maximum dose is 450 mg/day, given in 4 divided doses; bupropion should be discontinued if there is not an adequate response to this dose.
  • Single doses should not exceed 150 mg.

Sustained release tablets:

  • Initial dose: 150 mg orally once a day in the morning.
  • Maintenance dose: After at least 4 days, the dose may be increased to 100 to 150 mg twice a day. If there is not adequate improvement after several weeks, the dose may be increased to a maximum of 200 mg twice a day.

Extended release tablets (Wellbutrin XL):

  • Initial dose: 150 mg orally once a day in the morning.
  • Maintenance dose: After at least 4 days, the dose may be increased to 300 mg once a day. If there is not adequate improvement after several weeks, the dose may be increased to a maximum of 450 mg once a day in the morning.

Extended release tablets (Aplenzin):

  • Initial dose: 174 mg orally once a day in the morning (equivalent to 150 mg bupropion HCl).
  • Maintenance dose: After at least 4 days, the dose may be increased to 348 mg once a day (equivalent to 300 mg bupropion HCl). If there is not adequate improvement after several weeks, the dose may be increased to a maximum of 522 mg once a day in the morning (equivalent to 450 mg bupropion HCl).

Usual Adult Dose for Seasonal Affective Disorder:

Initiate treatment for seasonal affective disorder in the autumn prior to onset of symptoms.

Wellbutrin XL (R):

  • Initial: 150 mg orally once a day in the morning
  • Titration: If tolerated, after 7 days dose may be increased to maximum dose of 300 mg once a day administered in the morning. Patients who are unable to tolerate this increase in dose should be reduced back to 150 mg orally once a day.

Aplenzin (R):

  • Initial: 174 mg once daily (equivalent to 150 mg bupropion) in the morning
  • Titration: If tolerated, after 7 days dose may be increased to 348 mg once daily (equivalent to 300 mg bupropion) in the morning through the winter season.

Usual Adult Dose for Smoking Cessation:

Initial Dose: 150 mg orally once a day.

Maintenance: Based on clinical response, this dosage may be increased to 300 mg/day, given as 150 mg twice a day, no sooner than 3 days after beginning therapy.

What is the dose of bupropion for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is bupropion available?

Bupropion is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of bupropion, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: July 26, 2017 | Last Modified: July 26, 2017