Wellbutrin is an antidepressant medication. The exact way that Wellbutrin works is unknown. Wellbutrin is used to relieve symptoms of depression such as feelings of sadness, worthlessness or guilt, loss of interest in daily activities, changes in appetite, tiredness, sleeping too much, insomnia, and thoughts of death or suicide. Wellbutrin is also used to help people stop smoking by reducing withdrawal effects.
Take Wellbutrin exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you. Take each dose with a full glass of water. Do not crush, chew, or break the sustained-release tablets (Wellbutrin SR and Zyban). Swallow them whole. They are specially formulated to release slowly in your body. If you are unsure whether you have a sustained-release formulation, ask your pharmacist, doctor, or nurse. Never take more Wellbutrin in one dose or in one day than is directed by your doctor. Taking too much Wellbutrin can increase the risk of a seizure. Maximum doses of Wellbutrin are as follows: No single dose of the regular-release product Wellbutrin should be more than 150 mg, and doses should be taken at least 6 hours apart with a maximum daily dose of 450 mg. Single doses of the sustained-release product Wellbutrin SR should not exceed 200 mg and should be taken at least 8 hours apart with a maximum daily dose of 400 mg. Single doses of Zyban should not exceed 150 mg and doses should be taken at least 8 hours apart with a maximum daily dose of 300 mg. Take Wellbutrin exactly as directed by your doctor. If you are taking Zyban to help you stop smoking, a target "quit date" is usually set for a date during the second week of treatment with Zyban. Although it is not physically harmful to smoke while taking Zyban, continuing to smoke after the date you set to stop smoking will seriously reduce your chance of breaking the smoking habit. Nicotine replacement products (patches or gum) can be used during treatment with Zyban under the supervision of a doctor. Zyban and a nicotine replacement product together may raise your blood pressure and your doctor will probably want to check your blood pressure regularly. Do not smoke at any time if you are using a nicotine product along with Zyban as this can cause serious side effects from too much nicotine. Do not stop taking Wellbutrin without first talking to your doctor. It may be several weeks before you begin to feel better, and you may require continuous treatment for quite some time. Wellbutrin SR and Zyban tablets may have an odor. If present, this odor is normal.
If you experience any of the following uncommon but serious side effects, stop taking Wellbutrin and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately: an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives); seizures; or fast or irregular heartbeats. Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take Wellbutrin and talk to your doctor if you experience headache; insomnia; dry mouth; tremors, restlessness, agitation, or anxiety; dizziness or drowsiness; sweating; skin rash; ringing in the ears; flulike symptoms such as aching muscles, fatigue, and discomfort; frequent urination; or weight loss or gain. Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.
Do not take Wellbutrin if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. Many drugs can interact with Wellbutrin, resulting in side effects and/or decreased effectiveness of the medication. Do not take any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal or natural products, without first talking to your doctor during treatment with Wellbutrin.
If you take too much:
Seek emergency medical attention. Symptoms of a Wellbutrin overdose include seizures, hallucinations, loss of consciousness, weakness, a fast heartbeat, and heart attack.
Skip the missed dose and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose.
Store Wellbutrin at room temperature away from moisture and heat.