Bupropion (By mouth)


Bupropion (bue-PROE-pee-on)

Treats depression and aids in quitting smoking. Also prevents depression caused by seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This medicine is an antidepressant.

Brand Name(s)

Wellbutrin XL, Budeprion SR, Wellbutrin SR, Buproban, Budeprion XL, Zyban, Wellbutrin, Aplenzin, Appbutamone, Appbutamone-D, Forfivo XL

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to bupropion, or if you have a history of seizures or head injury, a brain tumor or infection, or an eating disorder (such as anorexia or bulimia). Do not use this medicine if you have taken an MAO inhibitor (such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, Parnate®) within the last 14 days. Do not use Zyban® to quit smoking if you already take Aplenzin® or Wellbutrin® for depression, because they are the same medicine.

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet, Long Acting Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You may need to take Wellbutrin® for up to 4 weeks before you feel better. You may need to take Zyban® for 1 to 2 weeks before the date that you plan to stop smoking.
  • Swallow the extended-release or sustained-release tablet whole. Do not break, crush, divide, or chew it. It is best to take Aplenzin® in the morning.
  • If you use this medicine to prevent depression in seasonal affective disorder, take it during autumn before your symptoms start. Continue using this medicine through the winter season and until early spring.
  • While taking the extended-release form of this medicine, part of the tablet may pass into your stools. This is normal and is nothing to worry about.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using a nicotine patch, cimetidine (Tagamet®), clopidogrel (Plavix®), cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan®), orphenadrine (Norflex®, Norgesic®), tamoxifen (Nolvadex®), theophylline (Theo-Dur®), thiotepa (Thioplex®), or ticlopidine (Ticlid®). Tell your doctor if you use amantadine (Symmetrel®), diet pills, levodopa (Sinemet®), medicine for anxiety (such as diazepam, Valium®), or a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®, Jantoven®).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you also use insulin or diabetes medicine that you take by mouth (such as glimepiride, glyburide, metformin, Actos®, Janumet®, Januvia®), medicine to treat HIV or AIDS (such as efavirenz, lopinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, Kaletra®, Norvir®, Sustiva®), medicine for seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, Dilantin®, Solfoton®, Tegretol®), or other medicine for depression (such as amitriptyline, desipramine, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, imipramine, norfluoxetine, nortriptyline, paroxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine, Elavil®, Pamelor®). Tell your doctor if you also use blood pressure medicine (such as atenolol, metoprolol, Toprol®), medicines to treat mental illness (such as haloperidol, risperidone, thioridazine, Haldol®, Mellaril®), steroid medicine (such as cortisone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone, prednisone, Cortone®, Deltasone®), or medicine for heart rhythm problems (such as flecainide, propafenone, verapamil, Rythmol®, Tambocor®).
  • Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol or use sedatives daily or on a regular basis.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease (including cirrhosis), high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or you have had a heart attack.
  • This medicine may increase your risk of seizures, especially if you have low blood sugar, low sodium, severe liver disease, or a drug addiction. The risk of seizure is higher if you consume large amounts of alcohol, benzodiazepines, antiepileptic drugs, or sedatives, or if you suddenly stop using them. If you have a seizure, call your doctor right away and do not take any more bupropion.
  • For some children, teenagers, and young adults, this medicine can increase thoughts of suicide. Tell your doctor right away if you start to feel more depressed and have thoughts about hurting yourself. Report any unusual thoughts or behaviors that trouble you, especially if they are new or getting worse quickly. Make sure the doctor knows if you have trouble sleeping, get upset easily, have a big increase in energy, or start to act reckless. Also tell the doctor if you have sudden or strong feelings, such as feeling nervous, angry, restless, violent, or scared. Let the doctor know if you or anyone in your family has bipolar disorder (manic-depressive) or has tried to commit suicide.
  • Your blood pressure might get too high, so you may need to track your blood pressure between doctor appointments. Call your doctor right away if you think your blood pressure is too high.
  • Zyban® is only part of a complete program to help you quit smoking. You may still want to smoke at times. Have a plan for coping with these situations.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Chest pain, trouble breathing
  • Fast, slow, or uneven heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness, fainting
  • Muscle or joint pain, fever with rash
  • Restlessness, irritability, nervousness, anxiety, trouble sleeping
  • Seizures, tremors
  • Severe agitation or confusion, thoughts of hurting yourself, other unusual thoughts
  • Severe or continuing headache

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Change in how much or how often you urinate
  • Dry mouth
  • Mild headache, dizziness, drowsiness
  • Nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, gas, stomach pain or upset
  • Sore throat
  • Weight gain or loss

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013

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