Bupropion (By mouth)

Bupropion (bue-PROE-pee-on)

Treats depression and aids in quitting smoking. Also prevents depression caused by seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Brand Name(s):

Aplenzin, Forfivo XL, Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to bupropion, or if you have seizures, anorexia, or bulimia.

How to Use This Medicine:

Tablet, Long Acting Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • You may need to take Wellbutrin® for up to 4 weeks before you feel better. You may need to take Zyban® for 1 to 2 weeks before the date that you plan to stop smoking.
  • Swallow the extended-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
  • It is best to take Aplenzin® in the morning.
  • Do not take Wellbutrin® or Zyban® close to bedtime if you have trouble sleeping.
  • Take it with food if it upsets your stomach or if you have nausea.
  • If you take the extended-release tablet, part of the tablet may pass into your stools. This is normal and is nothing to worry about.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Missed dose: Skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Never take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not use this medicine and an MAO inhibitor (MAOI) within 14 days of each other. Do not use Zyban® to quit smoking if you already take Aplenzin® or Wellbutrin® for depression, because they are the same medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you take barbiturates, benzodiazepines, antiseizure medicine, or sedatives, or if you recently stopped taking them.
  • Some medicines can affect how bupropion works. Tell your doctor if you use any of the following:
    • Amantadine, carbamazepine, cimetidine, clopidogrel, cyclophosphamide, digoxin, efavirenz, levodopa, lopinavir, nelfinavir, nicotine patch, orphenadrine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, ritonavir, tamoxifen, theophylline, thiotepa, ticlopidine
    • Beta blocker medicine (including metoprolol)
    • A blood thinner (including warfarin)
    • Insulin or diabetes medicine
    • Medicine to treat depression (including desipramine, fluoxetine, imipramine, nortriptyline, paroxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine)
    • Medicine to treat heart rhythm problems (including flecainide, propafenone)
    • Medicine to treat mental illness (including haloperidol, risperidone, thioridazine)
    • Steroid medicine (including dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone, prednisone)
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you use anything else that makes you sleepy. Some examples are allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, and alcohol.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, diabetes, glaucoma, mental illness (including bipolar disorder), or high blood pressure. Tell your doctor if you have a history of drug addiction or if you drink alcohol.
  • For some children, teenagers, and young adults, this medicine may increase mental or emotional problems. This may lead to thoughts of suicide and violence. Talk with your doctor right away if you have any thoughts or behavior changes that concern you. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has a history of bipolar disorder or suicide attempts.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Increased risk of seizures
    • Changes in mood or behavior
    • High blood pressure
    • Serious skin reactions
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or do anything that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Zyban® is only part of a complete program to help you quit smoking. You may still want to smoke at times. Have a plan to cope with these situations.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Chest pain, trouble breathing, fast, slow, or uneven heartbeat
  • Eye pain, vision changes, seeing halos around lights
  • Muscle or joint pain, fever with rash
  • Seeing or hearing things that are not there, feeling like people are against you
  • Seizures
  • Sudden increase in energy, racing thoughts, trouble sleeping
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself, worsening depression, severe agitation or confusion

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Dry mouth
  • Headache, dizziness
  • Nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, gas, stomach pain
  • Weight gain or loss

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 11/6/2020

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