Wellbutrin XL/Bupropion XL
What the medicinal ingredient is:
What the medication is used for:
- relieve your symptoms of depression (feeling sad, a change in appetite or weight, difficulty concentrating or sleeping, feeling tired, headaches, unexplained aches and pain) OR
- prevent autumn-winter seasonal depression in patients with a history of seasonal depression
What it does:
WELLBUTRIN XL is one of a group of drugs called antidepressants. WELLBUTRIN XL is thought to block reuptake of chemicals in the brain called noradrenaline and dopamine, which are linked with depression.
What dosage forms it comes in:
150 mg and 300 mg once daily tablets.
When it should not be used:
Do not take WELLBUTRIN XL if you:
- know that you are allergic to WELLBUTRIN SR, bupropion, or any of the other ingredients in WELLBUTRIN XL tablets
- are taking any other medicines which contain bupropion such as WELLBUTRIN SR or ZYBAN
- have been diagnosed with epilepsy or have a history of seizures
- have or have had an eating disorder, for example binge eating (bulimia) or anorexia
- are usually a heavy drinker who has just stopped or are about to stop drinking
- are taking Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor antidepressants (e.g. phenelzine sulphate, moclobemide)
- are taking the antipsychotic thioridazine
- have liver or kidney problems
- are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, or if you think that you might be pregnant
- are breast-feeding
BEFORE you use WELLBUTRIN XL tell your doctor or pharmacist if you:
- have ever had any fits or seizures in the past
- take other medications that may increase your chance of a seizure, including drugs for depression and some antibiotics
- are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications, or are planning on taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications during your therapy
- have, or have had an eating disorder, for example binge eating (bulimia) or anorexia nervosa
- have liver problems
- have kidney problems
- take more than the recommended amount of WELLBUTRIN XL tablets. WELLBUTRIN XL tablets should NOT be used if you are taking the smoking cessation aid ZYBAN or any other medications containing bupropion hydrochloride such as WELLBUTRIN SR
- have diabetes which is treated with insulin or other medications
- have use over-the-counter diet aids
- have had a serious head injury
- drink alcohol. It is best not to drink alcohol at all or to drink very little while taking WELLBUTRIN XL. If you drink a lot of alcohol and suddenly stop, you may increase your chance of having a seizure. Be sure to discuss your use of alcohol with your doctor before you begin taking WELLBUTRIN XL
- are pregnant, or thinking about becoming pregnant, or are breast-feeding
Interactions with This Medication:
If you are taking or have recently been taking other medicines for depression called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) tell your doctor before taking WELLBUTRIN XL.
You should tell your doctor if you are taking or have recently taken any medications (prescription, non-prescription or natural herbal) especially:
- other antidepressants such as citalopram, paroxetine, venlafaxine
- the antipsychotic thioridazine
- other medications for mental illness such as haloperidol and risperidone
- medicines for Parkinson’s disease such as levodopa, amantadine or orphenadrine
- medicines used for epilepsy (such as carbamazepine, phenytoin, or phenobarbitone)
- cyclophosphamide or ifosfamide, drugs mainly used to treat cancer
- drugs called beta blockers to treat heart conditions
- medicines to regulate heart rhythm
- clopidogrel or ticlopidine, drugs used to reduce blood clots
- nicotine patches to help you stop smoking
- digoxin, used to treat congestive heart failure and a fast heart rate or irregular heart rhythm such as atrial fibrillation (sometimes called “a-fib”)
- tamoxifen, a drug to treat breast cancer
- ritonavir or efavirenz, drugs to treat HIV infection
- In general, drinking alcoholic beverages should be kept to a minimum or avoided completely while taking WELLBUTRIN XL.
Proper Use of This Medication:
How to take WELLBUTRIN XL:
- WELLBUTRIN XL is formulated to be taken as a single tablet, once-daily.
Major Depressive Disorder:
Dosing with WELLBUTRIN XL Tablets should begin at 150 mg/day given as a single daily dose in the morning. The dose of WELLBUTRIN XL may be increased to the 300 mg/day maximum dose after 1 week. The usual adult target dose for WELLBUTRIN XL Tablets is 300 mg/day, given once daily in the morning.
Prevention of Seasonal Depression:
Dosing with WELLBUTRIN XL Tablets should begin at 150 mg/day given as a single daily dose in the morning. The dose of WELLBUTRIN XL may be increased to the 300 mg/day maximum dose after 1 week. The usual adult target dose for WELLBUTRIN XL Tablets is 300 mg/day, given once daily in the morning. For patients taking 300 mg/day during the autumn-winter season, the dose should be reduced to 150 mg/day for 2 weeks prior to discontinuation.
- Take your WELLBUTRIN XL tablet at the same time each day. If you have any problems with your dosing routine, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
- Swallow your WELLBUTRIN XL tablet whole, with fluids. Do not divide, chew or crush tablets.
- Take only the recommended dose prescribed by your doctor. Never increase the dose of WELLBUTRIN XL you or those in your care are taking, unless your doctor tells you to.
- The effects of your medication may not be noticeable in the first few days of treatment, and significant improvement may take several weeks. If you are concerned that your medicine is not working, discuss this with your doctor.
- You should talk to your doctor before you stop taking your medication on your own.
Side Effects and What to Do About Them:
Like all medications, WELLBUTRIN XL can cause some side effects. You may not experience any of them. For most patients these side effects are likely to be minor and temporary. However, some may be serious. Some of these side effects may be dose related. Consult your doctor if you experience these or other side effects, as the dose may have to be adjusted.
The most common side effects of WELLBUTRIN XL are:
- dry mouth
- decreased appetite