|Up to 3 times a day
|Works by balancing the neurotransmitters in the brain
|5-10 minutes usually and within a half-hour
Wellbutrin, an atypical antidepressant, is used to treat seasonal depressive disorder and major depressive disorder. It acts as an NDRI (norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor) and can be used both as an effective antidepressant on its own as well as in combination with other medications in cases where there is an inadequate response to first-line SSRI-antidepressants. Wellbutrin works by stimulating the release of dopamine and norepinephrine from the presynaptic neuron, as well as selectively inhibiting the reuptake of these hormones. It is available as a tablet and is taken orally. Like all antidepressants, it is only available by prescription.
Wellbutrin is an antidepressant medication that is used to treat major depressive disorder and seasonal depressive disorder. It is a very effective antidepressant and is one of the most commonly prescribed medications for the above-mentioned conditions. It may have a lower rate of sexual dysfunction as compared to other antidepressants. It can also be used to support smoking cessation since it is also a noncompetitive inhibitor of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Bupropion, the chemical compound in Wellbutrin, binds to these receptors in place of nicotine and thus, reduces the craving for cigarettes. It is generally classified as ‘non-abusable’ and is not a common drug abused for recreational purposes.
Wellbutrin should only be taken on the advice of a licensed medical professional. The dosage prescribed by the physician should be followed exactly as should the instructions on the label. The recommended starting dosage is 200 mg daily, in the form of 100 mg tablets twice a day initially, and a gradual increase to 300 mg a day can be done.
A maximum of 450 mg daily in the form of 150 mg tablets thrice a day should be given only to those patients who do not report any signs of clinical improvement after several weeks of treatment at 300 mg per day. Under no circumstances should a single dose be more than 150 mg.
You should not double dose in case you skip a dose. Take a dose as soon as you remember. You should just simply take the next dose if it is too close to the next dose.
In case of overdose, immediately contact emergency health services. Symptoms of overdose include shallow breathing, muscle stiffness, fast or uneven heartbeat, fainting, or hallucinations.
Wellbutrin may cause an allergic reaction (swollen glands, hives, difficult breathing, itching, swelling in your throat or face, fever), or a severe skin reaction (red or purple skin rash with peeling and blistering, fever, skin pain, sore throat, burning eyes). In case you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical help immediately.
Some serious side effects of the medication include seizures and convulsions, irregular or increased heartbeats, unusual changes in behavioral patterns, mood swings, confusion, blurred vision, eye pain, tunnel vision. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these side effects.
Wellbutrin may also cause in rare cases, a manic episode (feeling extremely happy or irritable, racing thoughts, talking more than usual, increased energy, severe sleeping problems, reckless behavior). Get immediate medical assistance and talk to the doctor about adjusting your dosage and/or discontinuing the drug.
Other common side effects of Wellbutrin include weight loss, blurred vision, dry mouth, muscle or joint pain, and increased urination.
A major side-effect of Wellbutrin is increased risk of seizures. So patients having seizures or other disorders that lower the threshold for seizures like anorexia or bulimia should not be prescribed this medication. Wellbutrin also interacts adversely with MAO inhibitors, so it should not be taken by patients who have used MAO inhibitors in the past 14 days. MAO inhibitors should also not be used 14 days after taking Wellbutrin.
Wellbutrin should not be used to treat more than one condition at a time. If it has been prescribed for depression, using it for smoking cessation is not advised.
Before starting a course of Wellbutrin, it is important to discuss with your physician if you have had any conditions like seizures, spinal or brain tumors, diabetes, heart disease, narrow-angle glaucoma, kidney or liver disease, high blood pressure, or regular consumption of alcohol. These conditions may make Wellbutrin unsuitable for you.
The effects of Wellbutrin on pregnancy are not known. If you get pregnant in the middle of a course of using Wellbutrin, consult your doctor. The effects of Wellbutrin on breastfeeding are also unknown. Discuss it with your doctor before taking the medication on your own.
- Keep the medicine in the airtight container that it came in.
- Store Wellbutrin at room temperature, away from moisture and excessive heat.
- Keep it out of children’s reach.
- Do not consume pills if the pack has expired.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do the side effects of Wellbutrin subside?
Common side effects of Wellbutrin include dry mouth, nausea, dizziness, weight changes. These side effects are usually mild and subside as the treatment continues. Contact your doctor immediately in case of serious side effects.
Will Wellbutrin react with other drugs I take?
It is possible. Bupropion, the ingredient in Wellbutrin has adverse interactions with many other drugs including herbal products, over-the-counter vitamins, and common medicines as well as prescription drugs. You should disclose all prior medication usage to your doctor before starting treatment with Wellbutrin to avoid adverse interactions.
Is Wellbutrin safe for use by children?
Wellbutrin is not generally prescribed to children and adolescents due to the increased risk of suicidal ideation. It is important to monitor patients’ changes in moods and behaviors when they are undergoing treatment using antidepressants. Children and adolescents are more prone to increased suicidal tendencies.
Can you drink alcohol while taking Wellbutrin?
No, the use of alcohol is not advised when taking Wellbutrin. It may have an adverse reaction to the medication.
Is it safe to drive while taking Wellbutrin?
Side effects of Wellbutrin include drowsiness and dizziness, so driving under the influence of medication is not advisable. Caution must be exercised.