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Home :: Bupropion :: Adverse Effects

Bupropion Antidepressant : Wellbutrin

Brand Name: Wellbutrin

Zyban and Wellbutrin are both names for the drug called bupropion. It is a nicotine-free pill which has been shown to help some people quit smoking. When used with NRT's, the rate of success for smoking cessation improves. Learn about this prescription-strength medicine and discuss with your doctor whether it might be a good choice for you. Wellbutrin is the brand name for Bupropion, a type of antidepressant (aminoketone class) that also acts as a stimulant. Wellbutrin raises the amounts of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain to more normal levels. Bupropion is an antidepressant medication that affects chemicals within the brain that nerves use to send messages to each other. These chemical messengers are called neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters that are released by nerves are taken up again by the nerves that release them for reuse. (This is referred to as reuptake.) Many experts believe that depression is caused by an imbalance among the amounts of neurotransmitters that are released. Bupropion is unrelated to other antidepressants. It works by inhibiting the reuptake of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, an action which results in more dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine to transmit messages to other nerves.

Uses of Bupropion

  • Bupropion has a stimulant type of effect and is used primarily for the treatment of major depression.
  • Bupropion can also be used to treat ADHD, Bipolar depression, to treat chronic fatigue syndrome, in reducing cocaine craving, to help kick smoking, and to reduce lower back pain.

How to Take Bupropion

Bupropion usually is given in two or three daily doses. When used for smoking cessation, bupropion usually is started as 150 mg once daily for three days, and then the dose is increased if the patient tolerates the starting dose. Smoking is discontinued two weeks after starting bupropion therapy. Wellbutrin SR is given as two daily doses. Wellbutrin XL is given as one dose daily.

What are the Side Effects of Bupropion Medication

Bupropion may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • drowsiness
  • restlessness
  • excitement
  • anxiety
  • dry mouth
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • tremor
  • weight loss
  • constipation
  • excessive sweating

Warnings and precautions before taking Bupropion Medication

  • Wellbutrin causes significant weight loss (more than 5 pounds) in 28% of people who take it. It should be not be used when such weight loss might be dangerous to the patient.
  • Wellbutrin may impair coordination or mental abilities: patients should not drive or operate heavy machinery until it is known that Wellbutrin does not affect the ability to safely engage in such activities.
  • For Pregnant or Nursing Mothers: Wellbutrin's effects during pregnancy are not well understood; Wellbutrin is not recommended for pregnant women. Wellbutrin does pass into breast milk and could cause a serious reaction in the infant; women should not breast-feed while taking this medication.

What drugs may interact with Bupropion Tablet

Drugs or substances that may interact with Bupropion include:

  • MAO Inhibitors (within 14 days) - can increase bupropion levels and lead to drug toxicity
  • alcohol - risk of seizures may be increased
  • marijuana - when used with Wellbutrin has been known to induce psychotic behavior
  • major tranquilizers such as thorazine
  • antidepressants or anti-psychotics such as Clozaril, Dilantan, Haldol, Maprotiline, Phenobarbital, Prozac, Tagamet, and Tegretol
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) - increases risk of seizures
  • Carbamazepine - may increase the effects of Carbamazepine and increases risk of seizures
  • Levodopa - may increase the effects of Levodopa, and increases the risk of seizures
  • Cimetidine - may increase bupropion's effects
  • Clozapine, Fluoxetine, Haloperidol, Lithium, Loxapine, Molindone, Thioxanthenes, and Trazodone - increase the risk of seizures
  • All Phenothiazines - increases the risk of seizures

What to do if you take Overdose of Bupropion ?

There have been rare reports of death after an overdose of Wellbutrin. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of Wellbutrin overdose may include:

  • Hallucinations
  • heart failure
  • loss of consciousness
  • rapid heartbeat
  • seizures
  • Blurred vision
  • confusion
  • jitteriness
  • lethargy
  • light-headedness
  • nausea
  • vomiting

How to Store Bupropion ?

Tablets should be kept at room temperature, 15- 25°C (59-77°F). Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.


 

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