Bupropion

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Bupropion (marketed under various brand names including Aplenzin, Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, and Wellbutrin XL) is prescribed for the treatment of depression. It is also used to manage seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which involves recurrent depressive episodes that typically manifest during the same season each year (typically in the fall and winter, but occasionally in the spring or summer). Additionally, Bupropion (known as Zyban) is employed to aid individuals in quitting smoking.

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Description

Bupropion (marketed under various brand names including Aplenzin, Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, and Wellbutrin XL) is prescribed for the treatment of depression. It is also used to manage seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which involves recurrent depressive episodes that typically manifest during the same season each year (typically in the fall and winter, but occasionally in the spring or summer). Additionally, Bupropion (known as Zyban) is employed to aid individuals in quitting smoking. This medication falls into the category of antidepressants and functions by enhancing specific brain activities.

Additional information

Usage

Bupropion is available in various forms, including regular tablets (Wellbutrin), sustained-release tablets (Wellbutrin SR, Zyban), and extended-release tablets (Aplenzin, Wellbutrin XL) for oral administration. The dosing regimen depends on the specific formulation:

• Regular tablet (Wellbutrin): Typically taken three or four times a day, with doses separated by at least 6 hours or 4 hours, respectively.
• Sustained-release tablet (Wellbutrin SR, Zyban): Usually taken twice a day, with doses spaced at least 8 hours apart.
• Extended-release tablet (Aplenzin, Wellbutrin XL): Typically taken once daily in the morning, with doses at least 24 hours apart.
When Bupropion is prescribed for seasonal affective disorder, it is typically taken once a day in the morning from early fall through the winter months, and discontinued in early spring. Occasionally, a lower dose may be taken for 2 weeks before discontinuation. It's recommended to take Bupropion with food if it causes stomach upset. To avoid sleep disturbances, it is advisable not to take Bupropion too close to bedtime.
Patients should take Bupropion at approximately the same time each day and strictly follow the instructions on the prescription label. Do not deviate from your doctor's prescribed dose. Extended-release and sustained-release tablets must be swallowed whole and should not be split, chewed, or crushed.

Usually, treatment with Bupropion starts at a low dose, with gradual dosage increases as directed by your doctor. The full benefits of Bupropion may take up to 4 weeks or longer to become noticeable. Even if you start feeling better, it is crucial to continue taking Bupropion as prescribed. Do not discontinue the medication without consulting your doctor, and if your doctor decides to reduce your dosage, it will likely be done gradually.

Side Effects

Bupropion may lead to side effects. Inform your doctor if any of these symptoms are bothersome or persist:

• Drowsiness
• Anxiety
• Excitement
• Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
• Dry mouth
• Dizziness
• Headache
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Stomach pain
• Involuntary tremors of a specific body part.
• Loss of appetite
• Weight loss
• Constipation
• Excessive sweating
• Ringing in the ears
• Changes in your sense of taste
• Frequent urination
• Sore throat
Certain side effects require immediate medical attention. If you experience any of the following symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING or SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS sections, contact your doctor promptly or seek emergency medical assistance:
• Seizures
• Confusion
• Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that do not exist)
• Irrational fears
• Muscle or joint pain
• Rapid, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
Additionally, if any of these symptoms occur, discontinue bupropion and contact your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical care:
• Fever
• Rash or blisters
• Itching
• Hives
• Enlargement or puffiness of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs.
• Hoarseness
• Difficulty breathing or swallowing
• Chest pain

Bupropion may also have other side effects. Reach out to your doctor if you encounter any unusual issues while taking this medication.

Storage

Store this medication in its original container, securely closed, and out of reach of children. Keep it at room temperature and shield it from light, excessive heat, and moisture (do not store it in the bathroom). Safeguard all medications from children's access, as many containers (including weekly pill organizers, eye drop bottles, creams, patches, and inhalers) may not be child-resistant and can be easily opened by young children. To prevent accidental poisoning in children, always secure safety caps and promptly place the medication in a secure location that is inaccessible to them.

Unused medications should be disposed of properly to prevent accidental ingestion by pets, children, or others. Nevertheless, please refrain from disposing of this medication by flushing it down the toilet. Instead, the recommended method for disposal is through a medication take-back program. Consult your pharmacist or contact your local waste management department to inquire about available take-back programs in your community.

Special Precautions

Before using bupropion, it's important to discuss the following with your doctor:

1. Allergies: Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to bupropion, any other medications, or any ingredients found in bupropion tablets. You can also refer to the Medication Guide for a list of ingredients.
2. Monoamine Oxidase (MAO) Inhibitors: Let your doctor know if you are taking, or have taken within the last 14 days, a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, phenelzine, selegiline, or tranylcypromine, as combining them with bupropion may be contraindicated.
3. Multiple Bupropion Products: Do not use more than one product containing bupropion simultaneously to avoid potential overdose and severe side effects.
4. Other Medications: Inform your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, supplements, and herbal products you are currently using or plan to use. This includes drugs like amantadine, beta-blockers, cimetidine, clopidogrel, cyclophosphamide, efavirenz, insulin, medications for diabetes, mental illness, seizures, and many others. Your doctor may need to adjust your doses accordingly.
5. Medical History: Discuss any history of seizures, anorexia nervosa, bulimia, alcohol consumption, use of street drugs, overuse of prescription medications, as well as prior experiences of a heart attack, head injury, brain or spinal tumor, high blood pressure, diabetes, or liver, kidney, or heart disease with your doctor.
6. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are currently breastfeeding. It's crucial to discuss bupropion's use during these periods with your healthcare provider.
7. Drowsiness: Be aware that bupropion may cause drowsiness. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you are familiar with the impact of this medication on your capabilities.
8. Alcohol Use: Discuss the safe consumption of alcoholic beverages with your doctor while taking bupropion, as alcohol can exacerbate its side effects.
9. Blood Pressure: Understand that bupropion may raise your blood pressure. Your doctor may monitor your blood pressure before and during treatment, particularly if you are using nicotine replacement therapy.
10. Eye Examination: Talk to your doctor about scheduling an eye examination before starting bupropion, as it can potentially lead to angle-closure glaucoma. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms like nausea, eye pain, vision changes, or eye swelling.
11. Mental Health: Some individuals have reported mood changes, including depression, hostility, agitation, and suicidal thoughts while taking bupropion for smoking cessation. While the exact role of bupropion in causing these changes is not fully understood, it's essential to inform your doctor if you have a history of depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or other mental health conditions. If you experience symptoms such as thoughts of self-harm or suicide, worsening depression, increased anxiety, restlessness, or any sudden changes in behavior, discontinue the use of bupropion (Zyban) immediately and seek help. Ensure that your family or caregiver is aware of these symptoms in case you are unable to seek help independently. Your doctor will closely monitor your progress until your symptoms improve.

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