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  • Generic Name: (bupropion hydrochloride)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 10/2016
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Wellbutrin XL is a medicine used to treat depression and prevent autumn-winter seasonal depression. Wellbutrin XL is an extended-release medicine (a type of tablet that releases medicine into your body throughout the day).

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Wellbutrin XL is thought to work by balancing the chemicals in your brain, thereby improving your symptoms of depression.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?


      Treatment of Depression: Wellbutrin XL has been shown to relieve symptoms of depression, as measured by appropriate symptom rating scales that are commonly used by healthcare providers to evaluate the effectiveness of the medicine in people with this condition. Wellbutrin XL has also been shown to lower the rates of depression relapse.

      Prevention of Seasonal Depression: Studies show that more people who took Wellbutrin XL before they experienced any symptoms were depression-free during the autumn-winter season, compared with people who did not take Wellbutrin XL.

      When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's instructions. It is important that you take Wellbutrin XL exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed, even if you do not feel better right away.

      How do I know it is working?

      Your healthcare provider may ask you a series of questions from time to time that will help assess how well your symptoms are controlled with treatment.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      Wellbutrin XL can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, teenagers, and young adults. Your healthcare provider will monitor you closely for clinical worsening and suicidal/unusual behavior after you start taking Wellbutrin XL or start a new dose of Wellbutrin XL. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you experience anxiety, hostility, sleeplessness, restlessness, impulsive or dangerous behavior, or thoughts about suicide or dying; or if you have new symptoms or seem to be feeling worse.

      Bupropion (a component of Wellbutrin XL) may cause other changes in your behavior if you are taking it to help you quit smoking. Symptoms may include changes in your mood (including depression and mania), hallucinations, agitation, aggression, suicidal thoughts or attempts, or paranoia.

      Treatment of Depression

      More common side effects may include: weight loss, loss of appetite, dry mouth, skin rash, sweating, ringing in the ears, shakiness, stomach pain, agitation, anxiety, dizziness, trouble sleeping, muscle pain, nausea, fast heartbeat, sore throat, urinating more often.

      Prevention of Autumn-Winter Seasonal Depression

      More common side effects may include: weight loss, constipation, gas.

      Less common side effects of Wellbutrin XL may include:

      Manic episodes with symptoms such as greatly increased energy, severe trouble sleeping, racing thoughts, reckless behavior, unusually grand ideas, excessive happiness or irritability, or talking faster than usual.

      Unusual thoughts or behaviors, including delusions (believing you are someone else), hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there), paranoia (feeling that people are against you), or feeling confused.

      Serious allergic reactions, with symptoms such as itching; hives; difficulty breathing; or swelling of your face, lips, or tongue.

      Wellbutrin XL may also cause seizures or high blood pressure.

      Visual problems with symptoms such as eye pain, changes in vision, or swelling or redness in or around the eye.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not take Wellbutrin XL if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

      Do not take Wellbutrin XL if you take a medicine called Zyban or any other medicines that contain bupropion (such as Wellbutrin tablets or Wellbutrin SR Sustained-Release tablets).

      Do not take Wellbutrin XL if you have a seizure disorder.

      Do not take Wellbutrin XL if you have an eating disorder (such as anorexia or bulimia).

      Do not take Wellbutrin XL if you drink excessive amounts of alcohol and suddenly stop drinking, or use a sedative (medicine that makes you sleepy) and you stop using it all of a sudden.

      Do not take Wellbutrin XL if you take another medicine called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (such as phenelzine, selegiline, or linezolid), a class of medications used to treat depression and other conditions. Do not start taking Wellbutrin XL if you stopped taking an MAOI in the last 2 weeks, unless directed to do so by your healthcare provider.

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Wellbutrin XL. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney or liver problems (including cirrhosis [scarring of the liver]); heart problems (including a heart attack); high blood pressure; eating disorders; a head injury; a tumor in your brain or spine; seizures; diabetes; drink a lot of alcohol or abuse medicines; or are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Adults: The recommended starting dose is 150 milligrams once a day. Your healthcare provider may adjust your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

      If you have liver or kidney problems, your healthcare provider may adjust your dose appropriately.

      It is important that you do not stop taking this medication abruptly. If you need to change or stop taking this medication, it is important that you only do this with the guidance of your healthcare provider.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Take Wellbutrin XL exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Wellbutrin XL without first talking to your healthcare provider.

      Take Wellbutrin XL in the morning at the same time each day, with or without food.

      Swallow Wellbutrin XL tablets whole. Do not chew, divide, or crush the tablets.

      When you take Wellbutrin XL, you may see something in your stool that looks like a tablet. This is normal. This is the empty shell from the tablet after the medicine has been absorbed in your body.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how Wellbutrin XL affects you.

      Do not drink alcohol while you are taking Wellbutrin XL.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      If Wellbutrin XL is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Wellbutrin XL may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very important that you tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      The effects of Wellbutrin XL during pregnancy are unknown. Wellbutrin XL can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      If you miss a dose of Wellbutrin XL, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once, or take an extra dose to make up for the dose you forgot.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store at room temperature.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
      back to top Use your PDR® Pharmacy Discount Card when you or a family member fills a prescription and ask for your PDR® Discount every
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