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Wellbutrin XL

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Wellbutrin XL

WELLBUTRIN XL®
(bupropion hydrochloride) Extended-release Tablets

WARNING

Suicidality and Antidepressant Drugs

Use in Treating Psychiatric Disorders: Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of WELLBUTRIN XL®* or any other antidepressant in a child, adolescent, or young adult must balance this risk with the clinical need. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction in risk with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. WELLBUTRIN XL is not approved for use in pediatric patients. (See WARNINGS: Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk in Treating Psychiatric Disorders, PRECAUTIONS: PATIENT INFORMATION, and PRECAUTIONS: Pediatric Use.)

Use in Smoking Cessation Treatment: WELLBUTRIN®*, WELLBUTRIN SR and WELLBUTRIN XL®* are not approved for smoking cessation treatment, but bupropion under the name ZYBAN®* is approved for this use. Serious neuropsychiatric events, including but not limited to depression, suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, and completed suicide have been reported in patients taking bupropion for smoking cessation. Some cases may have been complicated by the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal in patients who stopped smoking. Depressed mood may be a symptom of nicotine withdrawal. Depression, rarely including suicidal ideation, has been reported in smokers undergoing a smoking cessation attempt without medication. However, some of these symptoms have occurred in patients taking bupropion who continued to smoke.

All patients treated with bupropion for smoking cessation treatment should be observed for neuropsychiatric symptoms including changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, and suicide-related events, including ideation, behavior, and attempted suicide. These symptoms, as well as worsening of pre-existing psychiatric illness and completed suicide have been reported in some patients attempting to quit smoking while taking ZYBAN in the post-marketing experience. When symptoms were reported, most were during treatment with ZYBAN, but some were following discontinuation of treatment with ZYBAN. These events have occurred in patients with and without pre-existing psychiatric disease; some have experienced worsening of their psychiatric illnesses. Patients with serious psychiatric illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder did not participate in the pre-marketing studies of ZYBAN.

Advise patients and caregivers that the patient using bupropion for smoking cessation should stop taking bupropion and contact a healthcare provider immediately if agitation, hostility, depressed mood, or changes in thinking or behavior that are not typical for the patient are observed, or if the patient develops suicidal ideation or suicidal behavior. In many post-marketing cases, resolution of symptoms after discontinuation of ZYBAN was reported, although in some cases the symptoms persisted; therefore, ongoing monitoring and supportive care should be provided until symptoms resolve.

The risks of using bupropion for smoking cessation should be weighed against the benefits of its use. ZYBAN has been demonstrated to increase the likelihood of abstinence from smoking for as long as six months compared to treatment with placebo. The health benefits of quitting smoking are immediate and substantial. (See WARNINGS: Neuropsychiatric Symptoms and Suicide Risk in Smoking Cessation Treatment and PATIENT INFORMATION.)

DRUG DESCRIPTION

WELLBUTRIN XL (bupropion hydrochloride), an antidepressant of the aminoketone class, is chemically unrelated to tricyclic, tetracyclic, selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor, or other known antidepressant agents. Its structure closely resembles that of diethylpropion; it is related to phenylethylamines. It is designated as (±)-1-(3chlorophenyl)-2-[(1,1-dimethylethyl)amino]-1-propanone hydrochloride. The molecular weight is 276.2. The molecular formula is C13H18ClNO•HCl. Bupropion hydrochloride powder is white, crystalline, and highly soluble in water. It has a bitter taste and produces the sensation of local anesthesia on the oral mucosa. The structural formula is:

WELLBUTRIN XL® (bupropion hydrochloride) Structural Formula Illustration

WELLBUTRIN XL is supplied for oral administration as 150-mg and 300-mg, creamy-white to pale yellow extended-release tablets. Each tablet contains the labeled amount of bupropion hydrochloride and the inactive ingredients: ethylcellulose aqueous dispersion, glyceryl behenate, methacrylic acid copolymer dispersion, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl alcohol, povidone, silicon dioxide, and triethyl citrate. The tablets are printed with edible black ink.

The insoluble shell of the extended-release tablet may remain intact during gastrointestinal transit and is eliminated in the feces.

What are the possible side effects of bupropion?

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...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Wellbutrin XL »

What are the precautions when taking bupropion hydrochloride extended-release (Wellbutrin XL)?

Before taking bupropion, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney problems, liver disease, use/abuse of drugs/alcohol, seizures or conditions that increase your risk of seizures (including brain/head injury, brain tumor, eating disorders such as bulimia/anorexia nervosa, withdrawal treatment for alcohol/sedative drug dependence).

This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness...

Read All Potential Precautions of Wellbutrin XL »

Last reviewed on RxList: 7/29/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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