Articles, DRUGS

Wellbutrin – Uses, Dosage, Side Effects & Interactions

Wellbutrin, or as it goes by its scientific name Bupropion HCL, is a medication most commonly used to treat depression. It is not known when you feel your mental condition is on the low; hence a counsellor should be able to decide if the medication is at all needed. In case there is hope for your depression and you are getting better without the medicine, do try to stay away from anti-depressants. Wellbutrin works by improving the mood of the individual and thus boosting his well-being as well. It works by restoring the balance in the neurotransmitters of the brain.

The drug is usually to be taken only if prescribed by your doctor or health care professional. The drug is to be used for treating conditions he thinks need medications. The drug, aside from treating depression, also benefits patients who need to treat their attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD. It might also be used by people to quit smoking or at least decrease the craving. Nicotine withdrawal symptom is another area of treatment where Wellbutrin used are abundant. The drug is used for anxiety and bipolar disorder patients to treat their depressive phase.



Do make sure to go through the patient leaflet information when you want to take the medicine and talk to your medication guide as well about the necessary dosage needed. The medicine should also need a refill once you run out, however you should not get it without the consultancy of your doctor who will solve your doubts and queries before determining if you really do need a refill.

To use this medicine, it is to be swallowed by mouth. With or without food is not a factor determining how to take Wellbutrin as long as the dose does not cross thrice a day. If your stomach is upset either as a side effect or owing to diarrhoea, you are to take the medicine with food. The doses should be at least 6 hours in gap from each other and are never to be taken more than what is prescribed. The maximum dosage should not go beyond 450 mg a day.

Another important thing to note is that if you have trouble trying to fall asleep it is best that you don’t take the medicine before going to bed. Use the medicine regularly at the same time each day to avoid irregularity. Do not crush the medicine or stop using it suddenly as this might lead to withdrawal symptoms. That said, the extended release tablets should never be tampered with unless advised by your doctor for the same.


Usual Adult Dose for Depression:

Wellbutrin hydrochloride in general is given in two forms- Immediate release tablets and the maintenance dose. The immediate release Wellbutrin drug is given 100 mg orally for 3 days twice a day. The maintenance dose is given from Wellbutrin 75mg to 100 mg a day. The total dose should not cross the threshold of 150 mg.

Sustained-release tablets, also known as Wellbutrin SR are also used to treat adult depression, and come in three doses- the initial, maximum and the maintenance. The initial dose is administered orally as Wellbutrin 150 mg once a day, preferably in the morning, thereafter which if needed, it is given twice a day. The first 3 days of starting the dose, the tablet is given only once. If no improvement is seen, only then is the dosage number doubled. The maintenance dose is 150 mg to be given orally for two times each day and the maximum dose is Wellbutrin 200mg orally once a day.

Extended-release tablets known as Wellbutrin XL tablets work on depression in 3 doses too- the initial, maintenance and maximum. While the initial dose has 150 mg given orally every morning, the maintenance dose is Wellbutrin XL 300 mg once a day orally and the maximum dose is the same tablet 450 mg once a day. If no improvement is seen in the condition, the initial dose is increased to Wellbutrin XL 300mg as well.

Usual Adult Dose for Seasonal Affective Disorder:

Wellbutrin is given to the patient with the condition in 3 doses.
Initial dose of Wellbutrin 150 mg is given orally once a day in the morning and may be increased in case needed after 7 days up to 300 mg orally daily. The maintenance dose is 150 mg in minimum a day to 300 mg, while the maximum dose is Wellbutrin 300 mg once daily.

Usual Adult Dose for Smoking Cessation:

Over duration of about 7 to 12 weeks, Wellbutrin Zyban is given to the patient 150 mg orally for 3 days daily once, and then increased dosage of 150 mg twice daily is applicable if no improvement is seen. Each single dose should not exceed 150 mg and the maximum should be within 300 mg of the tablet strength.

Usual Adult Dose for Liver Disorders:

Sustained-release tablets, that is the Wellbutrin SR is given for liver disorder with a dose of 100 mg a day to be taken orally or 150 mg every alternative day depending on the seriousness of your condition as determined by your doctor.

Extended-release tablets Wellbutrin XL is used to treat liver cirrhosis by orally administering 150 mg every alternate day to the patient, thereafter reducing the dose as he gets better. If he doesn’t, a change in medication is needed since this is the highest recommended dose needed for a liver failure treatment.

If adverse reactions are noted after an overdose, a call to the poison control center should be carried out right away. The center will work on the dose and try to reverse it as effectively as other. To prevent overdose, do not give away your medicine dose to others. It might so be your condition is different and needs a varying dose much like the other person needs a different dose.

For a missed dose, the medicine should be taken right away when remembered. However, there is no choice but to skip if you are close to your next dose. Resume the next dosage and talk to your doctor about when to catch up with the previous dose. Do not increase up the dose as Wellbutrin side effects aren’t something pleasing and can get out of hand in case of an over dosage.

Avoid moisture and light entirely for medicines like Wellbutrin. Keep it away from children and your pets. Do not flush medicines and discard them properly once the expiry date has arrived. You can always contact the local disposal company personally for added precaution. Do not burn off the medicine or throw it at a place where it can easily be picked up.


  • Wellbutrin should not be entertained as a regular drug to treat depression if you have risks of seizure, or suffer from an eating disorder, or have a history of sedative or drug abuse. If your reason is to treat depression and not your smoking, don’t take other supplements to treat that like for instance, medicines like Zyban.
  • If you have been using MAO inhibitor recently or within 14 days of Wellbutrin intake, refrain from the same as a drug interaction could occur. It is discussed later.
  • Wellbutrin is known to induce seizures in people with heart issues as a side effect, so keep your health and dosage under closed monitoring. Do mention about all your health conditions to your doctor and seek assistance about the drugs to take with Wellbutrin, so they don’t interact.
    Ask your caregiver to report an unbiased detail about how your progress after taking the medicine has been. If you feel worse or agitated and impulsive, your doctor will probably either reduce the dosage or stop it on a whole.
  • A few special conditions to mention to your doctor about are your history of head injuries, brain tumours, narrow-angle glaucoma, heart attack, diabetes, kidney disorders, suicide attempts and mood swings.
    It is not known if Wellbutrin harms the unborn baby but it should be avoided if you are pregnant unless your doctor advices that it is okay. Seek out the assistance of a therapist if you are not allowed to use the medication
  • Breastfeeding might lead to the medicine ingredients passing on to your child who might in turn grow used to it as his regular diet inactive content. Talk to your doctor about it.
  • Refrain from alcohol when taking the medication as it might lead to serious side effects like enhancing the dizziness that is already affecting you.
  • The drug could lead to a false positive on a drug test. Do mention about it when needed and carry your prescription around.
  • Older adults may be more sensitive to the drug and look out for the advent of negative health issues every once in a while. Lying and resting most of the day should help make things better for your system.


A wise patient would avoid using Wellbutrin and an MAO inhibitor together. Even if you have used either in the past 14 days, inform your doctor about it right away. Some of the inhibitors include Linezolid, Methylene blue injection, Selegiline, Tranylcypromine, Isocarboxazid, Phenelzine and Rasagline among others.

Drug interactions interact with the way your medicine work and hence put you to risk for serious side effects. Not all drug interactions can be listed, however, Wellbutrine being a prescription drug is relatively high on interactions, which is why it is advisable that you don’t change the dosage or add new medication with the drug without consulting your doctor and getting an approval.

A few of the other medical products that are known to interact with Wellbutrin are Pimozide, Tamoxifen. These supplements can cause serious drug interactions and problems internally if taken along with the Wellbutrin drug. Which is why you will probably be advised against inhibitors if you are about to begin the dosage.

Other anti-depressants have composite ingredients that might interact with the composition of Wellbutrin and should not be taken together. It might also get difficult to identify the source of all side effects since all the medications have almost same issues. There is also a chance of overdose if you take more than one medication to treat the same condition without consulting your doctor. Try talking to your therapist or counsellor first as well to check if they suggest you need the medicine or you are better off without it. There is no requirement for useless treatment for a cause that is already improving after all.


There are many side effects that are triggered by Wellbutrin. A few of the most common ones are nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, dizziness, issues with vision, weight changes, a stuffy nose, tastelessness, constipation, loss of sexual interest, dry mouth. Light-headedness is common as well and a little rest should help clear it up.

The more severe serious Wellbutrin side effects that need the doctor’s check-up as soon as possible are nightmares, trouble in urination, infections, shortness of breath, chest pain, eye redness, fainting. These can get worse if left untreated and should hence be taken care of in the early stages of manifestation itself. A heart attack or seizure is although an unlikely event, it can be treated if noticed right away. Keep your doctor informed about side effects and allergies as and when they show up. That would make it easier to recognize and treat later as soon as the symptom reappears.

It takes no extra work to guess that Wellbutrin is a drug that will get you past troubling insomnia, bad depression and traumatic incidents. As long as you do not misuse the medicine you are good to go. Do not self prescribe the medicine either, as this could mean a long list of issues and side effects will await you. Always use the medicine as the last resort and seek therapy first to change your mood and mental health.