Wellbutrin

Generic name: Bupropion hydrochloride.

Wellbutrin is an antidepressant. It is thought to relieve depression by increasing the concentration of the chemicals necessary for nerve transmission to the brain.

Quick Facts About Wellbutrin

Purpose

Used to treat certain kinds of major depression and their symptoms: severely depressed mood for more than 2 weeks; sleep and appetite disturbances; agitation or lack of energy; feelings of guilt or worthlessness; decreased sex drive; inability to concentrate; and suicidal thoughts.

Wellbutrin Dosage

Take exactly as prescribed. Doctor may continue therapy for several months if Wellbutrin is effective.

  • Usual adult dose: 200 milligrams per day to start. After 3 days doctor may increase to 300 milligrams per day, divided in 3 equal doses, with at least 6 hours between doses. Maximum dose is 150 milligrams taken 3 times per day. Seniors — may be prescribed lower doses. Now comes in extended-release tablet
  • Usual child dose: not generally prescribed for children.
  • Missed dose: take as soon as possible, unless within 4 hours of next dose. In that case, do not take missed dose; go back to regular schedule. Do not double doses.

Wellbutrin Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

hallucinations, heart failure, loss of consciousness, rapid heartbeat, seizures. Overdose involving other medications in combination with Wellbutrin: breathing difficulties, coma, fever, rigid muscles, stupor. If you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention.

Most worrisome side effect seizure. More common side effects: agitation, constipation, dizziness, dry mouth, excessive sweating, headache, nausea and vomiting, skin rash, sleep disturbances, tremor.

Less common Wellbutrin side effects: acne; bedwetting; blisters in the mouth and eyes (Stevens-Johnson syndrome); blurred vision; breathing difficulty; chest pain; chills; complete or almost complete loss of movement; confusion; dry skin; episodes of overactivity, elation, or irritability; extreme calmness; fatigue; fever; fluid retention; flu-like symptoms; gum irritation and inflammation; hair color changes; hair loss; hives; impotence; incoordination and clumsiness; indigestion; itching; increased libido; menstrual problems; mood instability; muscle rigidity; painful ejaculation; painful erection; retarded ejaculation; ringing in ears; sexual dysfunction; suicidal ideas; thirst disturbances; toothache; urinary disturbances; weight gain or loss.

Interactions

Do not take Wellbutrin within 14 days of taking a MAO inhibitor such as Nardil or Parnate; may cause sudden and dangerous blood pressure elevation.

Inform your doctor before combining Wellbutrin with:

antipsychotics such as Thorazine; Dilantin; levodopa (Laradopa); phenobarbital; Tagamet; Tegretol; tricyclic antidepressants such as Elavil and Tofranil. Antipsychotics or antidepressants may trigger seizures. If taking Valium or similar medications, taper off use rather than abruptly stopping.

Do not drink alcohol while taking Wellbutrin; may cause seizures.

Special Cautions

If pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. May appear in breast milk; could affect a nursing infant.

Due to sensitivity to antidepressant medications, seniors are prescribed lower doses.

Not generally prescribed for children.

  • Do not take if sensitive to or allergic to Wellbutrin, or if you have a seizure disorder.
  • May impair your coordination and judgment and affect your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. Do not take part in any activity that requires alertness.
  • At risk for seizures if you are taking too high a dose of Wellbutrin or if you have had seizures or brain damage in the past.
  • Should not take if you have or had an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia; at increased risk for seizures.
  • Usually causes weight loss, but may cause weight gain. Doctor may not prescribe if your depression has already caused weight loss.

Note:

HealthSurvey.org provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Wellbutrin side effects, please contact your healthcare provider