Wellbutrin (Bupropion): Drug Info, Dosage, Side Effects, Interactions
Wellbutrin (Bupropion): When prescribed, How it Works, Precautions, Interactions with Other Drugs, Side Effects, Withdrawal Symptoms, Selecting the Right Subtype, Wellbutrin XL, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin for Smoking Cessation, Generic Wellbutrin Compared to the Brand One
- Treating Psychological Issues with Wellbutrin
- When is Wellbutrin prescribed?
- Wellbutrin: How does the drug work?
- Precautions to Consider before Taking Wellbutrin
- Wellbutrin and Its Interaction with Drugs
- What Are the Side Effects of Wellbutrin?
- How to Avoid Withdrawal Symptoms?
- Selecting the Right Subtype of Wellbutrin
- Wellbutrin IR Dosage
- Wellbutrin XL Dosage
- Wellbutrin SR Dosage
- Is Wellbutrin Used for Smoking Cessation?
- Is Generic Wellbutrin Different from the Brand One?
Treating Psychological Issues with Wellbutrin (Bupropion)
Psychological problems, such as depression, can seriously affect the quality of life and make it unbearable to face everyday activities. A lot of these states are caused by the chemical imbalances in the brain that can be treated with the help of modern antidepressants, such as Wellbutrin.
When is Wellbutrin (Bupropion) prescribed?
Wellbutrin is a well-known drug based on the active ingredient Bupropion and is prescribed for the treatment of depression. In addition, the medication can be consumed for the treatment of other health issues if deemed appropriate by your medical advisor.
Some of the most popular additional uses of the drug include:
- Nicotine addiction. The medication is used to help patients combat their cravings for tobacco.
- Seasonal affective disorder. Mood stabilization is achieved with the help of Wellbutrin in patients who experience this condition.
- The drug has been proved effective in treating childhood and adult ADHD as a stand-alone treatment and in combination with stimulants (Wellbutrin and Adderall treatment).
- These symptoms often accompany depression or caused by the stress of quitting smoking, which is why prescribing Wellbutrin for anxiety is not uncommon.
Wellbutrin (Bupropion): How does the drug work?
Belonging to the group of antidepressants, this drug works by affecting neurotransmitters in the brain, which are the chemicals that our nerves use in order to send messages to one another. According to experts, depression is often caused by the imbalanced changing of the amount of neurotransmitters that are released in the brain. Due to this imbalance, nerves may start recycling neurotransmitters that have been released in a process called reuptake. The purpose of Wellbutrin is to inhibit the reuptake of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. As a result, more of these chemicals are involved in sending messages to other nerves. As opposed to some other popular antidepressants out there, Wellbutrin has a prominent effect on dopamine and not serotonin.
Precautions to Consider before Taking Wellbutrin
Similarly to any other drugs, it’s important to learn which precautions you should consider before starting to take Wellbutrin. You should not take the medication if you’re allergic to any active (Bupropion) or inactive ingredients that it features.
This antidepressant should not be consumed if you have suddenly stopped taking seizure medications, sedatives, or quit drinking alcohol. Taking Wellbutrin right after these changes may increase the risk of experiencing seizures.
Before taking this medication, you should carefully study your medical history in order to minimize the risk of potential side effects of Wellbutrin.
The health issues that should be mentioned during your consultation with a health care specialist include:
- heart conditions (recent heart attack, hypertension, congestive heart failure)
- seizures and any health issues that can potentially cause them, such as brain tumors or injuries
- eating disorders
- drug or alcohol addictions
- any kidney or liver issues
- psychiatric disorders (both personally experienced by the patient and in family history)
Also, you should always inform your medical advisor if you experience worsening of any symptoms before or while taking the drug. This refers to any suicidal thoughts, irritability, agitation, sudden mood changes, restlessness, insomnia, panic attacks, agitation, and other unexpected psychological and behavioral changes. Depending on your reactions, you may require Wellbutrin dosage adjustment which is why regular monitoring performed by the medical specialist is essential.
You should avoid consuming alcohol while taking this medication as it significantly increases the risk of Wellbutrin seizures and general dizziness. Also, because in some cases Wellbutrin may influence your coordination, you should not perform any activities that require you to be precise and alert, such as using any type of machinery or driving.
When it comes to pregnant women, Wellbutrin is prescribed by medical professionals only when needed. Remember to inform your doctor if you become pregnant while completing the course of this drug.
Wellbutrin and Its Interaction with Drugs
There is no surprise that not all drugs can be consumed over the same period because they may contain various ingredients that affect one another. In some cases, drugs interactions can not only lessen the effect of medications but also lead to adverse effects. Inform your health care specialist about all the drugs and herbal supplements that you take or have been consuming previously.
When it comes to Wellbutrin, there some drugs that you should avoid while taking this antidepressant, such as:
- MAO inhibitors, such as moclobemide, isocarboxazid, methylene blue, linezolid, and more
Also, remember that consuming Wellbutrin may affect the results of certain medical tests, so make sure to inform the specialists that you’re taking the drug.
What Are the Side Effects of Wellbutrin (Bupropion)?
The majority of chemical medications you can buy may potentially cause some type of adverse reaction. It’s important to inform a medical specialist if you notice any type of unusual symptom after you take a pill. If you notice the skin rash, any swelling, or breathing difficulties, you should get emergency help immediately as these may be the signs of an allergic reaction.
More common and mild adverse effects from taking Wellbutrin include:
- excessive sweating
- dry mouth
- skin rash
Rare and more severe adverse effects of consuming the antidepressant are:
- blurred vision
- difficulty breathing
- chest pain
- hair loss
- sexual dysfunction
- symptoms similar to a flu
Some of the most severe side effects are seizures, which is why it’s important to consume the drug only as prescribed by your medical professional, following all the precautions and not exceeding the recommended dosage.
Also, a lot of patients wonder: does Wellbutrin cause weight gain? Many antidepressants on the market are known for causing such adverse effect, but, according to the majority of Wellbutrin reviews, this drug often leads to weight loss.
How to Avoid Withdrawal Symptoms?
Similarly to other drugs that have to be consumed over an extended period of time, stopping to take Wellbutrin may cause withdrawal symptoms in some patients. The intensity of these symptoms depends on a range of factors, such as duration of the treatment, subtype of the drug, and dosages. Wellbutrin withdrawal symptoms experienced by patients may include fatigue, headaches, insomnia, body aches, anxiety, and others.
To avoid or minimize these symptoms, it is recommended to gradually taper off the drug by lowering the dosages instead of not taking them suddenly. Generally, the dosages are reduced by 25 mg to 50 mg every two weeks. Those who consume Wellbutrin XL 150 mg or 300 mg cannot split the pills, which is why it’s recommended to switch to immediate-release pills.
Selecting the Right Subtype of Wellbutrin
As with any other drug, only a medical specialist is qualified to determine the right dosage of Wellbutrin in your particular case depending on the results of a physical examination and your individual symptoms. At the same time, there are general guidelines that can be followed. It should be noted that if you suffer from certain health issues, such as hepatic or renal impairment, the standard dosage of the drug may be smaller. When it comes to Wellbutrin, you have several subtypes to choose from that contain the same active ingredient but differ in how quickly they are released in the body.
Wellbutrin IR Dosage
The pills referred to as Wellbutrin IR belong to the category of immediate release. When a patient is first prescribed such pills, the increase of the dosage is performed gradually over several days. The usual starting dose for the majority of patients is 200 mg a day that should be consumed in two separate dosages with at least six hours between them. After three days of taking Wellbutrin, your medical advisor may increase the dosage to 300 mg a day (consumed as three separate dosages of 100 mg). The maximum daily dosage of Wellbutrin is 450 mg a day while a single dosage should not exceed 150 mg.
In terms of duration of such treatment, the majority of cases of major depression require at least several months to achieve sustainable results. The exact duration of the treatment, as well as a possibility of maintenance treatment, should be discussed with a medical professional.
Wellbutrin XL Dosage
This type of Wellbutrin comes in the form of extended-release pills, and its dosage depends on the intended health issue. Regardless of the condition, all the pills should be consumed whole without chewing or crushing. Also, the drug can be taken regardless of your meals.
Wellbutrin XL is prescribed to treat:
- Seasonal affective disorder. A standard initial dosage for a patient suffering from this condition is 150 mg once a day. Depending on how your respond to the drug, your medical advisor may decide that it’s reasonable to increase the dose to 300 mg after 7 days of consuming the drug. The drug may be prescribed to prevent the episodes of SAD starting in fall and continuing through winter or whichever seasons trigger depressive states.
- Major Depressive Disorder. The initial dosage recommended to most patients with this condition is 150 mg consumed once in the morning. The increase of the dosage is possible after 4 days if deemed appropriate by the medical advisor that monitors your condition.
You should not increase the dosage of the drug without prior consultation with a medical specialist. The Wellbutrin XL side effects from overdosing are the same as the ones experienced from standard Wellbutrin pills.
Wellbutrin SR Dosage
Another option that patients have when it comes to taking Wellbutrin is using sustained-release pills, which are simply called Wellbutrin SR. As opposed to Wellbutrin XL, the standard dosage of the drug in this form is 300 mg, which should be consumed in two dosages of 150 mg each. Patients are often prescribed to take a single 150-mg dose for the first three days and increase it afterward to let the body adjust to the new drug. Note that the pills should be taken at the minimal interval of 8 hours. The maximum dosage of these pills is 400 mg/day while a single dose should not be more than 200 mg.
Is Wellbutrin Used for Smoking Cessation?
Bupropion is an effective ingredient, which is often included in the drugs aimed at helping people quit smoking. While the most popular medical use of Wellbutrin is to treat depression, it is also often prescribed to people who want to stop smoking as it is based on a mentioned ingredient.
The way it works is by reducing the craving for tobacco that patients suffer from and minimizing withdrawal symptoms that are experienced by the majority of people. Such effect of the drug is not based on its antidepressant properties, which means that people who do not suffer from depression can still benefit from taking Wellbutrin to quit smoking.
The same contraindications and precautions to taking the drug apply whether you use the medication to treat depression or quit smoking. Generally, patients are advised to consume the drug daily for one to two weeks before they can stop using tobacco to make sure there is enough medication in the system. Afterward, the medication should be consumed for the duration determined by the medical professional, usually for 7-12 weeks or more depending on your individual reaction.
Is Generic Wellbutrin Different from the Brand One?
Nowadays, there are numerous drug options for us to choose from, but a lot of them are quite expensive. Deciding to purchase generic versions of your medications can save you quite a lot of money while getting the same effect. When it comes to generic Wellbutrin, it is no different from the brand-name version in terms of ingredients, quality, safety, and other properties. While high-quality generics are the same as the branded ones, it’s important to choose a reliable source of these medications, such as Canada Pharmacy.
One major difference that you will notice is generic Wellbutrin cost as this drug is a lot less expensive in comparison to the original version. The reason for this is the fact that generic drug is produced by a different company after the expiration of the patent, and less money was spent on its creation. The secondary medication producers are able to avoid the expenses connected to the initial development of the formula, hiring of the laboratory professionals, and testing of the drug because this process has already been done. In such a way, they get an opportunity to use an existing list of ingredients and recreate the medication for a lot cheaper.
It should be noted that generic drugs are different in their appearance (packaging, the color of the pills, flavors) due to the copyright laws, but this doesn’t influence their effectiveness and safety.