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Wellbutrin

What is Wellbutrin

Wellbutrin is an antidepressant medication. The exact way that Wellbutrin works is unknown.

Wellbutrin is used to relieve symptoms of depression such as feelings of sadness, worthlessness or guilt, loss of interest in daily activities, changes in appetite, tiredness, sleeping too much, insomnia, and thoughts of death or suicide. Bupropion is also used to help people stop smoking by reducing withdrawal effects.

Wellbutrin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

General medical information about Wellbutrin

Do not stop taking Wellbutrin without first talking to your doctor. It may be several weeks before you begin to feel better, and you may require continuous treatment for quite some time.

Avoid alcohol or drink it only in moderation while taking Wellbutrin. Alcohol may increase the risk of having a seizure while taking Wellbutrin. However, if you drink a lot of alcohol and suddenly stop, you may also increase the risk of having a seizure. Therefore, talk to your doctor about alcohol use before starting treatment with Wellbutrin.

Do not crush, chew, or break the sustained-release tablets (Wellbutrin SR and Zyban). Swallow them whole. They are specially formulated to release slowly in your body. If you are unsure whether you have a sustained-release formulation, ask your pharmacist, doctor, or nurse.

Wellbutrin may be used to treat different medical conditions. You should not be taking more than one product containing bupropion at a time (e.g., Wellbutrin and Zyban). Talk to your doctor if a second product containing bupropion is prescribed for you. Too much of this medicine can increase the risk of a seizure.

What you should find out before taking Wellbutrin

Do not take Wellbutrin if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days.

Do not take Wellbutrin if you have epilepsy or another type of seizure disorder, or if you have ever been diagnosed with anorexia or bulimia. Wellbutrin may increase the risk of having a seizure if you have any of these conditions.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have any other medical conditions such as heart, liver, or kidney disease. You may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during your treatment with Wellbutrin.

Wellbutrin may be used to treat different medical conditions. You should not be taking more than one product containing bupropion at a time (e.g., Wellbutrin and Zyban). Talk to your doctor if a second product containing bupropion is prescribed for you. Too much of this medicine can increase the risk of a seizure.

Wellbutrin is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is unlikely to harm an unborn baby. Do not take Wellbutrin without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.

It is not known whether Wellbutrin will harm a nursing baby. Do not take Wellbutrin without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should take Wellbutrin

Take Wellbutrin exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Do not crush, chew, or break the sustained-release tablets (Wellbutrin SR and Zyban). Swallow them whole. They are specially formulated to release slowly in your body. If you are unsure whether you have a sustained-release formulation, ask your pharmacist, doctor, or nurse.

Never take more Wellbutrin in one dose or in one day than is directed by your doctor. Taking too much Wellbutrin can increase the risk of a seizure. Maximum doses of Wellbutrin are as follows:
- No single dose of the regular-release product Wellbutrin should be more than 150 mg, and doses should be taken at least 6 hours apart with a maximum daily dose of 450 mg.
- Single doses of the sustained-release product Wellbutrin SR should not exceed 200 mg and should be taken at least 8 hours apart with a maximum daily dose of 400 mg.
- Single doses of Zyban should not exceed 150 mg and doses should be taken at least 8 hours apart with a maximum daily dose of 300 mg.

Take Wellbutrin exactly as directed by your doctor.

If you are taking Zyban to help you stop smoking, a target "quit date" is usually set for a date during the second week of treatment with Zyban. Although it is not physically harmful to smoke while taking Zyban, continuing to smoke after the date you set to stop smoking will seriously reduce your chance of breaking the smoking habit. Nicotine replacement products (patches or gum) can be used during treatment with Zyban under the supervision of a doctor. Zyban and a nicotine replacement product together may raise your blood pressure and your doctor will probably want to check your blood pressure regularly. Do not smoke at any time if you are using a nicotine product along with Zyban as this can cause serious side effects from too much nicotine.

Do not stop taking Wellbutrin without first talking to your doctor. It may be several weeks before you begin to feel better, and you may require continuous treatment for quite some time.

Wellbutrin SR and Zyban tablets may have an odor. If present, this odor is normal.

Store Wellbutrin at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

If you miss a dose:

Skip the missed dose and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose.

What happens if you overdose:

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a Wellbutrin overdose include seizures, hallucinations, loss of consciousness, weakness, a fast heartbeat, and heart attack.

Avoid while taking Wellbutrin

Avoid alcohol or drink it only in moderation while taking Wellbutrin. Alcohol may increase the risk of having a seizure while taking Wellbutrin. However, if you drink a lot of alcohol and suddenly stop, you may also increase the risk of having a seizure. Therefore, talk to your doctor about alcohol use before starting treatment with Wellbutrin.

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Wellbutrin may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.

Dizziness may be more likely to occur when you rise from a sitting or lying position. Rise slowly to prevent dizziness and a possible fall.

Bupropion may be used to treat different medical conditions. You should not be taking more than one product containing bupropion at a time (e.g., Wellbutrin and Zyban). Talk to your doctor if a second product containing bupropion is prescribed for you. Too much of this medicine can increase the risk of a seizure.

Possible side effects of Wellbutrin

If you experience any of the following uncommon but serious side effects, stop taking Wellbutrin and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
- seizures; or
- fast or irregular heartbeats.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take Wellbutrin and talk to your doctor if you experience
- headache;
- insomnia;
- dry mouth;
- tremors, restlessness, agitation, or anxiety;
- dizziness or drowsiness;
- sweating;
- skin rash;
- ringing in the ears;
- flulike symptoms such as aching muscles, fatigue, and discomfort;
- frequent urination; or
- weight loss or gain.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Wellbutrin

Do not take Wellbutrin if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days.

Many drugs can interact with Wellbutrin, resulting in side effects and/or decreased effectiveness of the medication. Do not take any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal or natural products, without first talking to your doctor during treatment with Wellbutrin.

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