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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Quick Drug Information (DrugNotes) > Bupropion (Oral)

Bupropion (By Mouth)

Bupropion (byoo-PROE-pee-on)

Treats depression and aids in quitting smoking. This medicine is an antidepressant.

Brand Name(s):

Wellbutrin SR, Zyban, Wellbutrin
There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to bupropion, or if you have a history of seizures or an eating disorder (such as anorexia or bulimia). You should not use this medicine if you have taken an MAO inhibitor drug (Eldepryl®, Nardil®, Marplan®, or Parnate®) within the last 14 days. Do not use Zyban® to quit smoking at the same time you are taking 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 take and how often. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than your doctor tells you to. Your doctor may tell you to start with a low dose. As your body gets used to the medicine, your doctor may increase the dose. Do not take more medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food. Swallow the sustained-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
  • 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 you plan to stop smoking.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to take your medicine, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take 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 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 Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.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 also using a nicotine patch, orphenadrine (Norflex®, Norgesic®), cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan®), theophylline, Tagamet®, levodopa (Sinemet®), diet pills (appetite suppressants), other medicine for depression, medicine for anxiety (such as diazepam, Valium®), blood pressure medicine (such as atenolol, metoprolol, Toprol®), medicines to treat mental illness (such as haloperidol (Haldol®), thioridazine (Mellaril®)), a steroid (such as cortisone, prednisone), or medicine for heart rhythm problems (such as verapamil, Rythmol®, Tambocor®).
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine. Tell your doctor if you currently drink alcohol or use other sedatives on a regular basis.
Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease, kidney disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or mental problems such as bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder.
  • This medicine may increase your risk of seizures, especially if you have a history of head injury, seizures, brain tumor, severe liver disease, or drug addiction. If you have a seizure, call your doctor right away and do not take any more bupropion.
  • Your doctor may want to check your blood pressure at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
  • Zyban® is only part of a complete program to help you quit smoking. You will probably be tempted to smoke at times. Have a plan for coping with these situations.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
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
  • Muscle or joint pain, unexplained fever with rash
  • Severe agitation or confusion, thoughts of hurting yourself, or other unusual thoughts
  • Severe or continuing headache, pounding in your ears
  • Yellow skin or eyes, pain in your upper stomach, dark-colored urine or pale stools

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

  • Dry mouth, mild nausea, vomiting, constipation, or loss of appetite
  • Trembling, shakiness, headache
  • Mild restlessness, nervousness, or trouble sleeping
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.

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