Wellbutrin XL (Bupropion Hydrochloride XL)
What is Wellbutrin XL (Bupropion Hydrochloride XL)?
Wellbutrin XL is a medication prescribed to treat major depressive disorder, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and smoking cessation in adult patients.
Wellbutrin XL belongs to the drug classes, Antidepressants, Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitors, Smoking Cessation Aids, Other. This medication works by restoring the balance of certain natural substances that affects the mood in the brain.
Wellbutrin XL is not recommended:
- If you are allergic or have had an allergic reaction to Wellbutrin XL or ingredients in Wellbutrin
- If you get seizures or suddenly stopped seizure medication
- If you suffer from any eating disorder
- If you suddenly stopped drinking alcohol or taking sedatives
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- If you are under 18 years of age
What are the Indications for Wellbutrin XL?
Wellbutrin XL is approved to treat depression, seasonal affective disorder (usually in the autumn and winter months) and smoking cessation.
How is Wellbutrin XL used?
Wellbutrin XL should be stored at room temperature in the original package between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C) away from moisture and light.
Keep out of reach of children.
Take Wellbutrin XL by mouth, as directed by your doctor, once a day with or without food, in the morning. Do not chew, crush or cut the tablet. If you take Wellbutrin XL late in the day, it may cause insomnia.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is less than 4 hours until your next dose, skip the missed dose and only take one dose. Do not catch up by taking two doses at once.
Do not change your dosage, take more than what is prescribed, or stop using Wellbutrin XL without consulting with your doctor. If you took more than prescribed, contact your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical care.
Wellbutrin XL is available in extended-release tablets in the following strengths: 150 mg and 300 mg. The recommended starting dose is 150 mg once a day in the morning.
It’s important to understand that although Wellbutrin XL is FDA-approved, it comes with side effects that may or may not affect you.
Before starting Wellbutrin XL, you should discuss possible side effects with your doctor or pharmacist.
Common Side Effects
Not all side effects require medical attention. As your body adjusts to Wellbutrin, side effects may go away. Tell your doctor if you experience the following symptoms, and they become severe or do not go away on their own.
- Trouble sleeping
- Stuffy nose
- Dry mouth
- Feeling anxious
- Nausea or vomiting
- Joint aches
- Sore throat
- Sleep problems
- Vision or hearing problems
- Confusion or agitation
- Fast heartbeat
- Loss of appetite
Serious Side Effects
Severe adverse reactions while taking Wellbutrin XL may occur. Seek emergency medical care or call 911 if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Manic episode: increased energy, trouble sleeping, racing thoughts, reckless behavior, grand ideas, excessive happiness or irritability, more talkative, speaking fast.
- Unusual thoughts/behaviors: delusional, paranoia, confusion, agitation, panic attack, aggressiveness, restless, violent, dangerous impulses, thoughts about suicide or dying, attempting suicide.
- Serious allergic reactions: rash, itching, hives, fever, swollen lymph glands, painful sores in the mouth or around the eyes, swelling of the lips or tongue, chest pain, trouble breathing.
- Other: irregular/fast heartbeat, unusual weight gain/loss.
The information above does not list all possible side effects. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you experience any side effects not listed. You or your doctor may report side effects to the FDA by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.
Warnings & Precautions
Before using Wellbutrin XL, tell your doctor or pharmacist:
- If you are allergic to Wellbutrin XL or any ingredients in Wellbutrin XL
- If you have a head injury, get seizures or have a brain or spinal cord tumor
- If you have any liver or kidney problems
- If you have an eating disorder
- If you have any heart-related illnesses
- If you are diabetic
- If you drink alcohol
- If you suffer from other mental illnesses
- If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
- If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
High blood pressure
You may develop severe high blood pressure (hypertension) when taking Wellbutrin XL.
The active ingredient in Wellbutrin XL, bupropion, can decrease the cravings and withdrawal symptoms when you stop smoking. You should tell your doctor if you ever had depression, suicidal thoughts, or any other mental problems when you tried to quit smoking before.
Some people are at risk of developing glaucoma. The symptoms are eye pain, changes in vision, swelling and redness around the eye. If you have any vision problems, please see an eye doctor first before starting Wellbutrin XL. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you develop any vision problems after starting Wellbutrin XL.
There is a risk of getting seizures while being treated with Wellbutrin XL. Some medications and conditions may increase your chances of developing seizures. It is important to tell your doctor about any other medical conditions you have or the medication you take. If you develop a seizure while taking Wellbutrin XL, contact your doctor right away.
Worsening symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts
Although it’s rare, you can experience worsening depression symptoms and have thoughts of suicide when taking Wellbutrin XL. Please contact your doctor or the emergency room immediately if you have any suicidal thoughts.
Pregnant or Planning to Become Pregnant
Taking Wellbutrin XL while pregnant can impact the unborn baby and cause harm. If you are a female patient and pregnant or planning to become pregnant, please speak to your doctor first before taking Wellbutrin XL.
Breastfeeding or Planning to Breastfeed
Studies have not been conducted to determine if Wellbutrin XL will pass through to human milk. Wellbutrin XL is not recommended when breastfeeding.
Interactions & Contraindications
Before using Wellbutrin XL, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you take any medications, herbal supplements, or vitamins.
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are also used to treat depression. Using MAOIs while using Wellbutrin XL, is contraindicated. You should wait at least 14 days after stopping MAOIs before taking Wellbutrin XL. If taken together, side effects may include confusion, restlessness, stomach discomfort or pain, high body temperature, dangerously high blood pressure, leading to headaches, dizziness, and blurred vision, and an increased risk of convulsions.
Wellbutrin XL should not be taken if you suffer from seizures.
If you suffer from, or have suffered from an eating disorder in the past, such as anorexia or bulimia, you should not take Wellbutrin XL as it can increase your risk of developing seizures.
Drinking alcohol while taking Wellbutrin XL can reduce your alcohol tolerance and increase your risk for seizures or other neuropsychotic side effects. You should avoid, or consume as little alcohol as possible while taking Wellbutrin XL. Do not stop using alcohol abruptly as it can create unwanted side effects.