Wellbutrin SR is a non-nicotine aid designed to assist in smoking cessation by alleviating withdrawal symptoms. It can be used on its own or with a nicotine replacement product, typically in the form of nicotine gum or lozenges. For optimal results, it is advised to incorporate bupropion into a comprehensive tobacco cessation program that offers additional support and educational resources.
What Is Wellbutrin SR?
Wellbutrin SR, also known as bupropion hydrochloride sustained release, is an antidepressant used in treating major depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder. Additionally, it aids individuals in smoking cessation by diminishing cravings and alleviating withdrawal effects.
How to Take
To minimize the risk of seizures, it is essential to gradually increase the dose of Wellbutrin SR. The tablets should be swallowed whole and should not be crushed, divided, or chewed. You can take Wellbutrin SR with or without food.
The usual target dose for adults is 300 mg/day, taken as 150 mg twice daily. Begin with a dose of 150 mg/day as a daily dose in the morning. After three days of dosing, the dose may be raised to the target dose of 300 mg/day, given as 150 mg twice daily, with an interval of at least 8 hours between doses. If no clinical improvement is observed after several weeks of treatment at 300 mg/day, a maximum dose of 400 mg/day (200 mg twice daily) may be considered. To avoid high peak concentrations of bupropion and its metabolites, never exceed 200 mg in a single dose.
If you experience stomach upset, you can take this medication with or after a meal or snack. Take the first dose upon waking up in the morning and the second dose at least 8 hours later, as directed by your doctor. Taking the medication late in the day may lead to insomnia. Taking the medication regularly at the exact times each day is essential to get the most benefit.
Acute episodes of depression generally require several months or longer of antidepressant drug treatment beyond the initial response. The appropriate dose for maintenance treatment may differ from the dose that produced an initial response. Regularly reassess the need for maintenance treatment and determine the suitable dose.
Your doctor will consider your medical condition, liver function, and response to treatment for the dosage. To reduce the risk of side effects, your doctor may start you on a low dose and gradually increase it. Avoid increasing the dose or using the drug more frequently or for a longer duration than prescribed, as it won't improve your condition faster and may increase the risk of side effects.
Do not discontinue this medication without consulting your doctor, as your dose may need to be gradually decreased. It may take four weeks or longer before you experience the full benefit of this drug. If your condition does not improve or worsens, inform your doctor. If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Antidepressants, including Wellbutrin SR, may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior, especially in children, teenagers, and young adults. Close monitoring by a healthcare provider is essential, particularly during the initial weeks of treatment or after dosage adjustments.
Taking Wellbutrin SR may lead to significant mood and behavior changes, such as anxiety, agitation, restlessness, hallucinations, hostility, and worsening of depression. Any unusual alterations in mental health should be reported to a healthcare provider promptly.
Wellbutrin SR may lower the seizure threshold, increasing the likelihood of seizures, especially at higher dosages. Individuals with a history of seizures or conditions that increase the risk of seizures should be closely monitored while taking this medication.
Severe allergic reactions to Wellbutrin SR are rare, but they can occur. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience a skin rash, itching, hives, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
In some cases, Wellbutrin SR may exacerbate certain psychiatric conditions, including bipolar disorder. It is crucial for healthcare providers to carefully evaluate patients with a history of mental health disorders before prescribing this medication.
Wellbutrin SR may increase intraocular pressure, posing a risk to individuals with glaucoma. Regular eye examinations are recommended for patients with preexisting glaucoma or increased intraocular pressure.
Wellbutrin SR can elevate blood pressure, and blood pressure monitoring is essential, especially in patients with preexisting hypertension.
Rare cases of liver injury, including severe liver damage, have been reported with bupropion-containing medications. Monitoring liver function is advised, especially during the initial stages of treatment.
Inform your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. The use of Wellbutrin SR during pregnancy or nursing should be carefully considered, weighing the potential benefits against the possible risks.
Combining Wellbutrin SR with alcohol or using it excessively may increase the risk of seizures.
It is vital to follow your healthcare provider's instructions, attend regular check-ups, and report any concerning symptoms or side effects while taking Wellbutrin SR. This information does not cover all possible warnings and precautions; consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice and guidance.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Wellbutrin SR should be taken during pregnancy only if prescribed by a healthcare professional. In some cases, infants born to mothers who have used certain antidepressants during the last three months of pregnancy may experience persistent feeding or breathing difficulties, jitteriness, seizures, or constant crying. If any of these symptoms occur, promptly reporting them to a doctor is important.
It's important to note that this medication can pass into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Therefore, before breastfeeding, it is essential to consult with a doctor to assess potential risks and benefits.
Common side effects of Wellbutrin SR include:
- dry mouth;
- sore throat;
- increased sweating;
- strange taste in mouth;
- changes in appetite;
- stomach/abdominal pain;
- joint aches;
- ringing in your ears;
- weight loss or gain,
- shaking (tremor);
- trouble sleeping;
- increased urination;
- blurred vision;
- muscle pain;
- skin rash;
- loss of interest in sex.
It is crucial to be aware that Wellbutrin SR may interact with various medications, including cancer medicine, heart rhythm medication, blood pressure medication, other antidepressants, psychiatric medication, antihistamines, asthma medications or bronchodilators, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapies, bladder/urinary medications, antibiotics, diet pills, stimulants, ADHD medication, insulin or oral diabetes medications, nausea/vomiting/motion sickness medicine, malaria medication, medicines for Parkinson's disease, restless leg syndrome, or pituitary gland tumors, medications used to prevent organ transplant rejection, narcotics, sedatives, steroids, theophylline, and ulcer/irritable bowel medications. You must inform your doctor about all the medications you are taking to avoid potential interactions.
An overdose of Wellbutrin SR (bupropion) can be severe and requires immediate medical attention. If you suspect an overdose or someone has taken more Wellbutrin SR than prescribed, contact emergency services or your local poison control center immediately.
Symptoms of Wellbutrin SR overdose may include:
- Agitation or restlessness
- Rapid heartbeat or irregular heart rhythm
- Nausea or vomiting
- Severe dizziness
- Uncontrollable shaking or tremors
- Loss of consciousness
It is crucial to seek immediate medical help if you or someone else is experiencing these symptoms. Additionally, it's crucial to inform medical professionals about the medication taken, the dose, and any other relevant information to assist them in providing the appropriate treatment.
Store Wellbutrin SR in its original container with the label intact. The original packaging provides important information about the medication and its expiration date.
Keep Wellbutrin SR at room temperature, typically between 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F). Avoid exposing the medication to extreme heat, cold, or direct sunlight. Protect the medication from excess moisture. Do not store it in the bathroom, where humidity levels can be high.
Keep Wellbutrin SR in a secure location, out of the reach of children and pets. Accidental ingestion of the medication can be dangerous.
Do not transfer the pills to different containers or pill organizers unless your pharmacist or healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
Regularly check the expiration date of the medication. If the medication has expired, dispose of it properly and obtain a new prescription.
If you have any unused or expired Wellbutrin SR, follow proper disposal guidelines. You can consult your pharmacist or local waste management authorities for instructions on safe medication disposal.