Anxiety Medication Overview of Wellbutrin

How should Wellbutrin be used?

Wellbutrin is an oral antidepressant medication. Wellbutrin is used to treat the major depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder.

Only take Wellbutrin as it was prescribed. Never take this medication in a larger dose or for longer than your doctor recommends. Always follow the directions on your prescription label. Wellbutrin can be taken with or without food.

Never chew, crush, or break the extended-release tablet (Zyban SR, Wellbutrin XL, Wellbutrin SR) always swallow the pill whole. Wellbutrin is made to release medicine slowly into the body. Damaging the pill in any of the ways described would allow too much of the drug to be released into the body at one time.

You should not stop taking Wellbutrin until you have talked with your doctor. If you stop taking Wellbutrin suddenly it is possible to have very unpleasant side effects.

If you are using the Wellbutrin extended-release tablet, it is possible and natural for the tablet shell to pass through in a bowel movement. Seeing the shell in a stool is normal and it does not mean you are not getting enough of the medicine. Always store Wellbutrin in room temperature away from heat or moisture.

What special precautions should I follow?

Never take Wellbutrin if you have epilepsy or a seizure disorder, an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia), if you are using another form of Bupropion, or if you suddenly have stopped using sedatives or alcohol. Tell your doctor what prescription and nonprescription drugs you are taking or have taken within the last 2 weeks, especially monoamine oxidase inhibitors such as isocarboxazid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline or tranylcypromine. Do not take Wellbutrin if you have taken any of these in the last 2 weeks.


Thoughts of suicide may happen when you first start taking an antidepressant. Individuals younger than 24 years old are at a higher risk of suicidal thoughts. At least, for the first 12 weeks of treatment, your doctor will need to schedule regular check-ups.

Wellbutrin can cause seizures, more so in individuals with a specific medical condition(s) or when taking certain drugs. Always talk with your doctor about any medical conditions, and the drugs you use for them.

Tell your doctor before taking Wellbutrin if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, head injury, brain or spinal cord tumor, kidney disease, liver disease, bipolar disorder, or diabetes. If you currently use steroids, theophylline, or medicine to treat depression or any mental illness. If you have recently used alcohol, sedatives, narcotic pain medication, diet pills, or drugs such as cocaine.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking Wellbutrin, call your doctor immediately.

You should not drink alcohol while taking Wellbutrin. Alcohol can increase the risk of a seizure while taking Wellbutrin. Do not use Bupropion for more than one condition at a time. Too much of this medicine increases the risk of a seizure. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you take Wellbutrin once a day in the morning, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule.

If you take Wellbutrin once a day at bedtime and do not remember to take it until the next morning, skip the missed dose. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • Hives
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Swelling of Face, Lips, Tongue, or Throat

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • Headache or Migraine
  • Nausea, Vomiting, Constipation, Dry Mouth
  • Confusion, Dizziness, Tremors, Shaking
  • Appetite Changes, Weight Loss or Gain
  • Mild Itching or Skin Rash, Increased Sweating
  • Loss of Interest in Sex
  • Anxiety
  • Panic Attacks
  • More Depressed
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Uneven Heartbeat
  • Seizure
  • Irritable, Agitated, Hostile, Aggressive, Restless, Hyperactive or Impulsive
  • Suicidal Thoughts

These are some of the side effects, if you have any side effects that are unusual or that become persistent you should talk to your doctor.

Photo: tOrange

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