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Bupropion (By mouth)

Bupropion (bue-PROE-pee-on)

Treats depression and aids in quitting smoking. Also prevents depression caused by seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This medicine is an antidepressant.

Brand Name(s):

Aplenzin, Appbutamone, Appbutamone-D, Budeprion SR, Budeprion XL, Buproban, Forfivo XL, Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, Zyban

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to bupropion, or if you have a seizure disorder or head injury, a brain tumor or infection, or an eating disorder (such as anorexia or bulimia). Do not use this medicine and an MAO inhibitor (MAOI), such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, Parnate®, linezolid (Zyvox®), or methylene blue injection, 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.

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 or sustained-release tablet whole. Do not break, crush, divide, or chew it.
  • It is best to take Aplenzin® in the morning.
  • Do not take Wellbutrin® close to bedtime if you have trouble sleeping.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food. If you have nausea, it may help to take it with food.
  • If you use this medicine to prevent depression in seasonal affective disorder, take it during autumn before your symptoms start. Continue using this medicine through the winter season and until early spring.
  • 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.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

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

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using a nicotine patch, cimetidine (Tagamet®), clopidogrel (Plavix®), cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan®), orphenadrine (Norflex®, Norgesic®), tamoxifen (Nolvadex®), theophylline (Theo-Dur®), thiotepa (Thioplex®), or ticlopidine (Ticlid®). Tell your doctor if you use amantadine (Symmetrel®), diet pills, levodopa (Sinemet®), medicine for anxiety (such as diazepam, Valium®), or a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®, Jantoven®).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you also use insulin or diabetes medicine that you take by mouth (such as glimepiride, glyburide, metformin, Actos®, Janumet®, Januvia®), medicine to treat HIV or AIDS (such as efavirenz, lopinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, Kaletra®, Norvir®, Sustiva®), medicine for seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, Dilantin®, Solfoton®, Tegretol®), or other medicine for depression (such as amitriptyline, citalopram, desipramine, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, imipramine, norfluoxetine, nortriptyline, paroxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine, Elavil®, Pamelor®). Tell your doctor if you also use blood pressure medicine (such as atenolol, metoprolol, Toprol®), medicines to treat mental illness (such as haloperidol, risperidone, thioridazine, Haldol®, Mellaril®), steroid medicine (such as cortisone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone, prednisone, Cortone®, Deltasone®), or medicine for heart rhythm problems (such as flecainide, propafenone, verapamil, Rythmol®, Tambocor®).
  • Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol or use sedatives on a regular basis.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease (including cirrhosis), diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or you have had a heart attack.
  • This medicine may increase your risk of seizures, especially if you have low blood sugar levels, low sodium levels, severe liver disease, or a drug addiction. The risk of seizure is higher if you consume large amounts of alcohol, benzodiazepines, antiepileptic drugs, or sedatives, or if you suddenly stop using them. If you have a seizure, call your doctor right away and do not take any more bupropion.
  • For some children, teenagers, and young adults, this medicine can increase thoughts of suicide. Tell your doctor right away if you start to feel more depressed and have thoughts about hurting yourself. Report any unusual thoughts or behaviors that trouble you, especially if they are new or getting worse quickly. Make sure your doctor knows if you have trouble sleeping, get upset easily, have a big increase in energy, or start to act reckless. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has bipolar disorder (manic depression) or has tried to commit suicide.
  • 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.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you have blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, red skin lesions, severe acne or skin rash, sores or ulcers on the skin, or fever or chills while you are using this medicine.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • 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.

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, or red skin rash
  • Chest pain or trouble breathing
  • Fast, slow, or uneven heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Muscle or joint pain, fever with rash
  • Restlessness, irritability, nervousness, anxiety, trouble sleeping
  • Seizures or tremors
  • Severe agitation or confusion, thoughts of hurting yourself, other unusual thoughts
  • Severe or continuing headache

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

  • Change in how much or how often you urinate
  • Dry mouth
  • Mild headache or dizziness
  • Nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, gas, stomach pain
  • Sore throat
  • 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: 4/4/2014
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