Wellbutrin Drug Information | Usage | Interactions and Side Effects

Wellbutrin Drug Information | Usage | Interactions and Side Effects

Wellbutrin (bupropion) is an antidepressant used to treat major depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder. This medicine works by blocking the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, thereby helping to balance specific natural substances in the brain called neurotransmitters.

Generic Wellbutrin is also marketed as: Wellbutrin sustained -release (SR), bupropion hydrochloride, Budeprion, Budeprion, Aplenzin, Zyban and Buproban.

* Wellbutrin® is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.


Generic Wellbutrin is a norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor, or NDRI for short. NDRIs affect specific chemicals within the brain known as norepinephrine and dopamine. The active ingredient, bupropion The FDA approved bupropion in December 1985.

How to take

Generic Wellbutrin comes in tablet form. It is taken by mouth, usually twice a day. Always follow your doctor’s exact instructions when taking this medication. Be sure to swallow the tablets whole. These should not be cut, crushed, broken, or chewed. You can take Wellbutrin with or without food. If the medication bothers your stomach, try taking it with food. Generic Wellbutrin should be taken at the same times each day to maintain an even level in your blood. For Generic Wellbutrin to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. The medication will not work if you stop taking it.

You may have trouble sleeping when you start taking Generic Wellbutrin. Do not take your evening dose too close to bedtime. Let your doctor know if sleeplessness becomes a problem.

Side effects

Most patients taking Generic Wellbutrin rarely report any side effects. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.

Some of the most common side effects include:

Dry mouth (see Wellbutrin and Dry Mouth)
Weight loss (see Wellbutrin and Weight Loss)
Insomnia (see Wellbutrin and Insomnia)
Sore throat
Abdominal pain (stomach pain)


Antidepressants may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or actions in children, teenagers, and young adults. However, depression and certain other mental problems may also increase the risk of suicide. Talk with the patient’s doctor to be sure that the benefits of using Generic Wellbutrin outweigh the risks.

Do NOT take Generic Wellbutrin if:

You are allergic to any ingredient in Generic Wellbutrin or bupropion
You are taking any other medicine that contains bupropion
You have a history of an eating disorder (e.g. anorexia, bulimia) or seizures (e.g. epilepsy)
You are suddenly stopping the use of alcohol or sedatives (e.g. benzodiazepines) after long-term use
You are taking or have taken linezolid or a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (e.g. phenelzine) within the last 14 days

You should talk with your doctor prior to taking this drug if you have:

Seizures or epilepsy (see Wellbutrin Seizures)
A brain tumor
A history of head trauma or brain injury
Bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) or a family history of bipolar disorder
Heart disease
A recent history of a heart attack
A history of suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts
Liver problems, including liver failure or cirrhosis
Kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives

Also, let your doctor know if you:

Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Are breastfeeding
Drink alcohol regularly

Drug interactions

Always alert your doctor of any medications you are currently taking, both prescription and non-prescription, or any dietary supplements. Generic Wellbutrin may interact with the following medicines:

Other antidepressants
Amantadine (Symmetrel? )
Antipsychotic medications (used to treat hallucinations orschizophrenia)
Beta blockers, such as: Atenolol (Tenormin? ), Bisoprolol (Zebeta? ), Carvedilol (Coreg? , Coreg CR? ), Labetalol (Trandate? ), Metoprolol (Lopressor? , Toprol XL? ), Nadolol (Corgard? ), Propranolol (Inderal? ), Sotalol (Betapace? ), Timolol (Blocadren)
Certain arrhythmia medications, including propafenone(Rythmol? ) and flecainide (Tambocor? )
Clopidogrel (Plavix? )
Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan? )
Doxorubicin (Adriamycin? , Doxil? )
Efavirenz (Sustiva? )
Levodopa (Parcopa? , Sinemet? , Sinemet CR? ,Stalevo? )
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), including: Isocarboxazid (Marplan? ), Phenelzine (Nardil? ), Rasagiline (Azilect? ), Selegiline (Eldepryl? , Emsam? , Zelapar? ), Tranylcypromine (Parnate? )
Nelfinavir (Viracept? )
Nicotine patches (NicoDerm CQ? )
Orphenadrine (Norflex? )
Ritonavir (Norvir? ) or lopinavir and ritonavir (Kaletra? )
Steroids, such as prednisone or methylprednisolone (Medrol? )
Tamoxifen (Nolvadex? )
Ticlopidine (Ticlid? )

This list does not include all possible drug interactions. Consult your doctor for all possible interactions.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.


Store Generic Wellbutrin Tablets at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C), in a tight, light-resistant container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Generic Wellbutrin out of the reach of children and away from pets.