Generic name: bupropion [ byoo-PRO-pee-on ]
Brand names: Aplenzin , Forfivo XL , Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL , Zyban Advantage Pack
Drug class: Miscellaneous antidepressants
What is Wellbutrin SR?
Wellbutrin SR is an antidepressant used to treat major depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder . The Zyban brand of bupropion is used to help people stop smoking by reducing cravings and other withdrawal effects.
Wellbutrin SR may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not take Wellbutrin SR if you have seizures or an eating disorder, or if you have suddenly stopped using alcohol, seizure medication, or sedatives. If you take Wellbutrin for depression, do not also take Zyban to quit smoking.
Do not use Wellbutrin SR within 14 days before or 14 days after you have used an MAO inhibitor , such as isocarboxazid , linezolid , methylene blue injection, phenelzine , rasagiline , selegiline , or tranylcypromine .
Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.
Before taking this medicine
You should not take Wellbutrin SR if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
- a seizure disorder;
- an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia; or
- if you have suddenly stopped using alcohol, seizure medication, or a sedative (such as Xanax , Valium , Fiorinal , Klonopin , and others).
Do not use an MAO inhibitor within 14 days before or 14 days after you take Wellbutrin SR. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.
Do not take Wellbutrin SR to treat more than one condition at a time. If you take this medicine for depression, do not also take Wellbutrin SR to quit smoking.
Wellbutrin SR may cause seizures, especially if you have certain medical conditions or use certain drugs. Tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions and the drugs you use.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- a head injury , seizures, or brain or spinal cord tumor;
- narrow-angle glaucoma ;
- heart disease, high blood pressure , or a heart attack ;
- kidney or liver disease (especially cirrhosis );
- depression , bipolar disorder , or other mental illness; or
- if you drink alcohol.
Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
Ask your doctor about taking this medicine if you are pregnant. It is not known whether Wellbutrin SR will harm an unborn baby. However, you may have a relapse of depression if you stop taking your antidepressant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Do not start or stop taking this medicine without your doctor’s advice.
If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of bupropion on the baby.
It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.
Wellbutrin SR is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
How should I take Wellbutrin SR?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed. Too much of this medicine can increase your risk of a seizure.
You may take Wellbutrin SR with or without food.
Swallow the extended-release tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.
You should not change your dose or stop using Wellbutrin SR suddenly, unless you have a seizure while taking this medicine. Stopping suddenly can cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using this medicine.
If you take Zyban to help you stop smoking, you may continue to smoke for about 1 week after you start the medicine. Set a date to quit smoking during the first 2 weeks of treatment. Talk to your doctor if you have trouble quitting after taking Zyban for 7 to 12 weeks.
Your doctor may prescribe a nicotine replacement product (such as patches or gum) to help you stop smoking. Start using the nicotine replacement product on the same day you stop (quit) smoking or using tobacco products.
Some people taking Wellbutrin SR (Wellbutrin or Zyban) have had high blood pressure that is severe, especially when also using a nicotine replacement product (patch or gum). Your blood pressure may need to be checked before and during treatment with this medicine.
Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.
You may have nicotine withdrawal symptoms when you stop smoking, including: increased appetite, weight gain, trouble sleeping, trouble concentrating, slower heart rate, having the urge to smoke, and feeling anxious, restless, depressed, angry, frustrated, or irritated. These symptoms may occur with or without using medication such as Zyban.
Smoking cessation may also cause new or worsening mental health problems, such as depression.
This medicine may affect a drug-screening urine test and you may have false results. Tell the laboratory staff that you use Wellbutrin SR.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
Detailed Wellbutrin SR dosage information
What happens if I miss a dose?
Skip the missed dose and use your next dose at the regular time. Do not use two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of Wellbutrin SR can be fatal. Overdose symptoms may include muscle stiffness, hallucinations, fast or uneven heartbeat, shallow breathing, or fainting.
What should I avoid while taking bupropion?
Drinking alcohol with Wellbutrin SR may increase your risk of seizures. If you drink alcohol regularly, talk with your doctor before changing the amount you drink. This medicine can also cause seizures in a regular drinker who suddenly stops drinking at the start of treatment with this medicine.
Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how Wellbutrin SR will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.
Wellbutrin SR side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction ( hives , itching, fever, swollen glands, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat , burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).
Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety , depression, 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.
Wellbutrin SR may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:
- a seizure (convulsions);
- confusion, unusual changes in mood or behavior;
- blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights;
- fast or irregular heartbeats; or
- a manic episode–racing thoughts, increased energy, reckless behavior, feeling extremely happy or irritable, talking more than usual, severe problems with sleep.
Common side effects of Wellbutrin SR may include:
- dry mouth, sore throat, stuffy nose;
- ringing in the ears;
- blurred vision;
- nausea , vomiting , stomach pain, loss of appetite, constipation ;
- sleep problems ( insomnia );
- tremors, sweating, feeling anxious or nervous;
- fast heartbeats;
- confusion, agitation , hostility;
- weight loss ;
- increased urination;
- headache , dizziness ; or
- muscle or joint pain.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Wellbutrin SR side effects (more detail)
What other drugs will affect Wellbutrin SR?
You may have a higher risk of seizures if you use certain other medicines while taking Wellbutrin SR.
Many drugs can affect Wellbutrin SR. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins , and herbal products . Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.