Slideshows Images Quizzes

Wellbutrin SR

Last reviewed on RxList: 9/9/2016
Wellbutrin SR Side Effects Center

Last reviewed on RxList 9/19/2016

Wellbutrin SR (bupropion hydrochloride) is an antidepressant used to treat major depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder. At least one brand of bupropion (Zyban) is used to help people stop smoking by reducing cravings and other withdrawal effects. Wellbutrin SR is available in generic form. Common side effects of Wellbutrin SR include:

  • dry mouth,
  • sore throat,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • stomach/abdominal pain,
  • flushing,
  • headache,
  • changes in appetite,
  • weight loss or gain,
  • constipation,
  • trouble sleeping,
  • increased sweating,
  • increased urination,
  • strange taste in mouth,
  • muscle pain,
  • joint aches,
  • dizziness,
  • itching,
  • skin rash,
  • ringing in your ears,
  • loss of interest in sex,
  • shaking (tremor), or
  • blurred vision.

The usual adult dose for Wellbutrin SR is 300 mg/day, given as 150 mg twice daily. The full antidepressant effect may not be evident until 4 weeks of treatment or longer. Wellbutrin SR can interact with many medications including cancer medicine, heart rhythm medication, blood pressure medication, other antidepressants, psychiatric medication, antihistamines, asthma medications or bronchodilators, birth control pills, hormone replacement, bladder/urinary medications, antibiotics, diet pills, stimulants, ADHD medication, insulin or diabetes medications taken orally, nausea/vomiting/motion sickness medicine, malaria medication, medicines to treat Parkinson's disease, restless leg syndrome, or pituitary gland tumor, medicines used to prevent organ transplant rejection, narcotics, sedatives, steroids, theophylline, or ulcer/irritable bowel medications. Tell your doctor all medications you are taking. Wellbutrin SR should be used only when prescribed during pregnancy. Infrequently, newborns whose mothers have used certain antidepressants during the last 3 months of pregnancy may develop symptoms including persistent feeding or breathing difficulties, jitteriness, seizures or constant crying. Report symptoms to a doctor. This drug passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Our Wellbutrin SR (bupropion hydrochloride) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Wellbutrin SR Consumer Information

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • seizure (convulsions);
  • fast heartbeats;
  • fever, swollen glands, rash or itching, joint pain, or general ill feeling;
  • confusion, trouble concentrating, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior; or
  • severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • dry mouth, nausea, stomach pain;
  • headache, dizziness, ringing in your ears;
  • loss of interest in sex;
  • sore throat, muscle pain;
  • mild itching or skin rash, increased sweating, increased urination; or
  • changes in appetite, weight loss or gain.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Wellbutrin SR (Bupropion Hydrochloride Sustained-Release)

Wellbutrin SR Professional Information

SIDE EFFECTS

The following adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the labeling:

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared with rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice.

Adverse Reactions Leading To Discontinuation Of Treatment

In placebo-controlled clinical trials, 4%, 9%, and 11% of the placebo, 300-mg-per-day, and 400-mg per- day groups, respectively, discontinued treatment due to adverse reactions. The specific adverse reactions leading to discontinuation in at least 1% of the 300-mg-per-day or 400-mg-per-day groups and at a rate at least twice the placebo rate are listed in Table 2.

Table 2: Treatment Discontinuations Due to Adverse Reactions in Placebo-Controlled Trials

Adverse Reaction Placebo
(n = 385)
WELLBUTRIN SR 300 mg/day
(n=376)
WELLBUTRIN SR 400 mg/day
(n = 114)
Rash 0.0% 2.4% 0.9%
Nausea 0.3% 0.8% 1.8%
Agitation 0.3% 0.3% 1.8%
Migraine 0.3% 0.0% 1.8%

Commonly Observed Adverse Reactions

Adverse reactions from Table 3 occurring in at least 5% of subjects treated with WELLBUTRIN SR and at a rate at least twice the placebo rate are listed below for the 300- and 400-mg-per-day dose groups.

WELLBUTRIN SR 300 mg per day: Anorexia, dry mouth, rash, sweating, tinnitus, and tremor.

WELLBUTRIN SR 400 mg per day: Abdominal pain, agitation, anxiety, dizziness, dry mouth, insomnia, myalgia, nausea, palpitation, pharyngitis, sweating, tinnitus, and urinary frequency.

Adverse reactions reported in placebo-controlled trials are presented in Table 3. Reported adverse reactions were classified using a COSTART-based Dictionary.

Table 3: Adverse Reactions Reported by at Least 1% of Subjects and at a Greater Frequency than Placebo in Controlled Clinical Trials

Body System/ Adverse Reaction WELLBUTRIN SR 300 mg/day
(n=376)
WELLBUTRIN SR 400 mg/day
(n = 114)
Placebo
(n = 385)
Body (General)
  Headache 26% 25% 23%
  Infection 8% 9% 6%
  Abdominal pain 3% 9% 2%
  Asthenia 2% 4% 2%
  Chest pain 3% 4% 1%
  Pain 2% 3% 2%
  Fever 1% 2%
Cardiovascular
  Palpitation 2% 6% 2%
  Flushing 1% 4%
  Migraine 1% 4% 1%
  Hot flashes 1% 3% 1%
Digestive
  Dry mouth 17% 24% 7%
  Nausea 13% 18% 8%
  Constipation 10% 5% 7%
  Diarrhea 5% 7% 6%
  Anorexia 5% 3% 2%
  Vomiting 4% 2% 2%
  Dysphagia 0% 2% 0%
Musculoskeletal
  Myalgia 2% 6% 3%
  Arthralgia 1% 4% 1%
  Arthritis 0% 2% 0%
  Twitch 1% 2%
Nervous system
  Insomnia 11% 16% 6%
  Dizziness 7% 11% 5%
  Agitation 3% 9% 2%
  Anxiety 5% 6% 3%
  Tremor 6% 3% 1%
  Nervousness 5% 3% 3%
  Somnolence 2% 3% 2%
  Irritability 3% 2% 2%
  Memory decreased 3% 1%
  Paresthesia 1% 2% 1%
  Central nervous system stimulation 2% 1% 1%
Respiratory
  Pharyngitis 3% 11% 2%
  Sinusitis 3% 1% 2%
  Increased cough 1% 2% 1%
Skin
   Sweating 6% 5% 2%
  Rash 5% 4% 1%
  Pruritus 2% 4% 2%
  Urticaria 2% 1% 0%
Special senses
  Tinnitus 6% 6% 2%
  Taste perversion 2% 4%
  Blurred vision or diplopia 3% 2% 2%
Urogenital
   Urinary frequency 2% 5% 2%
  Urinary urgency 2% 0%
  Vaginal hemorrhagea 0% 2%
  Urinary tract infection 1% 0%
aIncidence based on the number of female subjects.
— Hyphen denotes adverse events occurring in greater than 0 but less than 0.5% of subjects.

Other Adverse Reactions Observed During The Clinical Development Of Bupropion

In addition to the adverse reactions noted above, the following adverse reactions have been reported in clinical trials with the sustained-release formulation of bupropion in depressed subjects and in nondepressed smokers, as well as in clinical trials with the immediate-release formulation of bupropion.

Adverse reaction frequencies represent the proportion of subjects who experienced a treatment-emergent adverse reaction on at least one occasion in placebo-controlled trials for depression (n = 987) or smoking cessation (n = 1,013), or subjects who experienced an adverse reaction requiring discontinuation of treatment in an open-label surveillance trial with WELLBUTRIN SR (n = 3,100). All treatment-emergent adverse reactions are included except those listed in Table 3, those listed in other safety-related sections of the prescribing information, those subsumed under COSTART terms that are either overly general or excessively specific so as to be uninformative, those not reasonably associated with the use of the drug, and those that were not serious and occurred in fewer than 2 subjects.

Adverse reactions are further categorized by body system and listed in order of decreasing frequency according to the following definitions of frequency: Frequent adverse reactions are defined as those occurring in at least 1/100 subjects. Infrequent adverse reactions are those occurring in 1/100 to 1/1,000 subjects, while rare events are those occurring in less than 1/1,000 subjects.

Body (General): Infrequent were chills, facial edema, and photosensitivity. Rare was malaise.

Cardiovascular: Infrequent were postural hypotension, stroke, tachycardia, and vasodilation. Rare were syncope and myocardial infarction.

Digestive: Infrequent were abnormal liver function, bruxism, gastric reflux, gingivitis, increased salivation, jaundice, mouth ulcers, stomatitis, and thirst. Rare was edema of tongue.

Hemic and Lymphatic: Infrequent was ecchymosis.

Metabolic and Nutritional: Infrequent were edema and peripheral edema.

Musculoskeletal: Infrequent were leg cramps.

Nervous System: Infrequent were abnormal coordination, decreased libido, depersonalization, dysphoria, emotional lability, hostility, hyperkinesia, hypertonia, hypesthesia, suicidal ideation, and vertigo. Rare were amnesia, ataxia, derealization, and hypomania.

Respiratory: Rare was bronchospasm.

Special Senses: Infrequent were accommodation abnormality and dry eye.

Urogenital: Infrequent were impotence, polyuria, and prostate disorder.

Changes In Body Weight

In placebo-controlled trials, subjects experienced weight gain or weight loss as shown in Table 4.

Table 4: Incidence of Weight Gain and Weight Los s ( ≥ 5 lbs ) in Placebo-Controlled Trials

Weight Change WELLBUTRIN SR 300 mg/day
(n=339)
WELLBUTRIN SR 400 mg/day
(n = 112)
Placebo
(n=347)
Gained > 5 lbs 3% 2% 4%
Lost > 5 lbs 14% 19% 6%

In clinical trials conducted with the immediate-release formulation of bupropion, 35% of subjects receiving tricyclic antidepressants gained weight, compared with 9% of subjects treated with the immediate-release formulation of bupropion. If weight loss is a major presenting sign of a patient's depressive illness, the anorectic and/or weight-reducing potential of WELLBUTRIN SR should be considered.

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of WELLBUTRIN SR and are not described elsewhere in the label. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Body (General)

Arthralgia, myalgia, and fever with rash and other symptoms suggestive of delayed hypersensitivity. These symptoms may resemble serum sickness [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Cardiovascular

Complete atrioventricular block, extrasystoles, hypotension, hypertension (in some cases severe), phlebitis, and pulmonary embolism.

Digestive

Colitis, esophagitis, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, gum hemorrhage, hepatitis, intestinal perforation, pancreatitis, and stomach ulcer.

Endocrine

Hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, and syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone.

Hemic and Lymphatic

Anemia, leukocytosis, leukopenia, lymphadenopathy, pancytopenia, and thrombocytopenia. Altered PT and/or INR, infrequently associated with hemorrhagic or thrombotic complications, were observed when bupropion was coadministered with warfarin.

Metabolic and Nutritional

Glycosuria.

Musculoskeletal

Muscle rigidity/fever/rhabdomyolysis and muscle weakness.

Nervous System

Abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG), aggression, akinesia, aphasia, coma, completed suicide, delirium, delusions, dysarthria, euphoria, extrapyramidal syndrome (dyskinesia, dystonia, hypokinesia, parkinsonism), hallucinations, increased libido, manic reaction, neuralgia, neuropathy, paranoid ideation, restlessness, suicide attempt, and unmasking tardive dyskinesia.

Respiratory

Pneumonia.

Skin

Alopecia, angioedema, exfoliative dermatitis, hirsutism, and Stevens-Johnson syndrome.

Special Senses

Deafness, increased intraocular pressure, and mydriasis.

Urogenital

Abnormal ejaculation, cystitis, dyspareunia, dysuria, gynecomastia, menopause, painful erection, salpingitis, urinary incontinence, urinary retention, and vaginitis.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Wellbutrin SR (Bupropion Hydrochloride Sustained-Release)

Related Resources for Wellbutrin SR

Read the Wellbutrin SR User Reviews »

© Wellbutrin SR Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Wellbutrin SR Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors