Bupropion

Bupropion is primarily used as an antidepressant drug for treating depression as well as help smokers to reduce their cravings and effectively manage withdrawal symptoms. Bupropion is available in over 50 brand names with common formulations including Wellbutrin, Zyban, Fortivo XL, and Aplenzin among others.

Composition

Bupropion immediate Release tablets are available in 75 mg and 100 mg tablets while the Sustained Release ‘SL’ tablets are available in 100, 150 and 200 mg. Every tablet contains the following ingredients; 75 mg tablet – hypromellose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, talc, polyethylene glycol, FD&C Yellow No.6 Lake, D&C Yellow No.10 Lake, and titanium dioxide. 100 mg tablet contains titanium dioxide, microcrystalline cellulose, FD&C Red No. 40 Lake, FD&C Yellow No.6 Lake, polyethylene glycol, hydroxypropyl cellulose, and talc.

Pharmacological Action

As an antidepressant, Bupropion is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor (DRI). This has an effect on how chemicals within the brain that nerves rely on (neurotransmitters) pass messages to each other. Depression can be triggered when there is a chemical imbalance, and how messages are transmitted. Nerves are known to recycle released neurotransmitters in a process known as reuptake. Bupropion inhibits the reuptake of chemicals dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin which causes these chemicals to send messages to other nerves.

Indication

Bupropion is used for the management and treatment of depression and smoking cessation. Other off-label uses of this drug include treatment for:

  • Anxiety
  • ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
  • PTSD (Posttraumatic stress disorder)
  • Neuropathic pain (relieve nerve pain)
  • Social phobia

Mode of Indication, Dosage, and Administration

Bupropion should be strictly administered in accordance with a doctor’s instructions. When you buy Bupropion, you should know how to take this medicine. Tablets should be swallowed whole with plenty of water and not crushed, chewed or broken into pieces. The common daily dose is one, twice or thrice per day depending on a doctor’s advice. However, every single dose should be taken after 6 hours and not exceed 150 mg.

Depression patients can start with 100 mg twice a day, and increase to 100 mg 3 times a day (300 mg), but are not allowed to exceed 450 mg daily. For smoking cessation, Bupropion is taken once per day (150 mg) dose and increased gradually to 2 times a day for the next 7-12 weeks. In some cases, a doctor may put you on gum or patches to aid in smoking cessation treatment.

Bupropion Side Effects

Common side effects of Bupropion include:

  • Sore throat
  • Dry mouth
  • Weight loss
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach pains
  • Insomnia
  • Shakiness
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Agitation
  • Constipation
  • Frequent urination
  • Skin rash
  • Nausea
  • Tinnitus – Ringing ears
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Stomach pains
  • Muscle pain

Other side effects though less common include:

  • Flushing
  • Migraine
  • Nervousness
  • Hives
  • Fever
  • Chest pain
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Sinusitis
  • Hot flashes
  • Arthritis
  • Myalgia
  • Swallowing problems

Serious side effects are hypertension (high blood pressure) and hallucinations/paranoia, feeling confused.

Contraindication

Before commencing Bupropion medication, you should let your doctor know if you’ve used any of the following medication or suffer from any of the below medical conditions.

  • You drink alcohol
  • diabetes
  • Seizures
  • Eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia
  • Do not use Bupropion for both depression and smoking cessation; only use Bupropion to treat one condition
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Heart disease or heart attack
  • Kidney disease
  • Bipolar disorder or mental illness
  • Previous head injuries
  • Brain or spinal cord tumor
  • Narrow-angle glaucoma

Drug Interaction

Before using Bupropion, inform your doctor about any medication you are currently using or have previously used.

  • Bupropion shouldn’t be taken if you’ve used an MAO inhibitor within a fortnight. Drugs in this category include phenelzine, linezolid, selegiline, isocarboxazid, methylene blue injection, tranylcypromine, phenelzine, and rasagiline.
  • Sedatives such as Klonopin, Xanax, Fiorinal, Valium and others.
  • Seizure medication i.e. chlorpromazine, prochlorperazine as well as other phenothiazine medications
  • Carbamazepine may lower the effect of Bupropion
  • Ritonavir may cause rapid breakdown and elimination of Bupropion