(bupropion hydrochloride) Extended-release Tablets
SUICIDAL THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIORS and NEUROPSYCHIATRIC REACTIONS
Suicidality And Antidepressant Drugs
Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term trials. These trials did not show an increase in the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior with antidepressants use in subjects aged 65 and older [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. In patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy, monitor closely for worsening, and for emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Advise families and caregivers of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Neuropsychiatric Reactions In Patients Taking Bupropion For Smoking Cessation
Serious neuropsychiatric reactions have occurred in patients taking bupropion for smoking cessation [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. The majority of these reactions occurred during bupropion treatment, but some occurred in the context of discontinuing treatment. In many cases, a causal relationship to bupropion treatment is not certain, because depressed mood may be a symptom of nicotine withdrawal. However, some of the cases occurred in patients taking bupropion who continued to smoke. Although WELLBUTRIN XL is not approved for smoking cessation, observe all patients for neuropsychiatric reactions. Instruct the patient to contact a healthcare provider if such reactions occur [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
WELLBUTRIN XL® (bupropion hydrochloride), an antidepressant of the aminoketone class, is chemically unrelated to tricyclic, tetracyclic, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or other known antidepressant agents. Its structure closely resembles that of diethylpropion; it is related to phenylethylamines. It is designated as (±)-1-(3-chorophenyl)-2-[(1,1dimethylethyl)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 tablets are 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, glyceryl behenate, methacrylic acid copolymer dispersion, polyvinyl alcohol, polyethylene glycol, 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.
Major Depressive Disorder
WELLBUTRIN XL® (bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets) is indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).
The efficacy of the immediate-release formulation of bupropion was established in two 4-week controlled inpatient trials and one 6-week controlled outpatient trial of adult patients with MDD. The efficacy of the sustained-release formulation of bupropion in the maintenance treatment of MDD was established in a long-term (up to 44 weeks), placebo-controlled trial in patients who had responded to bupropion in an 8-week study of acute treatment [see Clinical Studies].
Seasonal Affective Disorder
WELLBUTRIN XL is indicated for the prevention of seasonal major depressive episodes in patients with a diagnosis of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
The efficacy of bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets in the prevention of seasonal major depressive episodes was established in 3 placebo-controlled trials in adult outpatients with a history of MDD with an autumn-winter seasonal pattern as defined in the DSM [see Clinical Studies].
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
General Instructions For Use
WELLBUTRIN XL should be swallowed whole and not crushed, divided, or chewed.
WELLBUTRIN XL should be administered in the morning and may be taken with or without food.
Dosage For Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
The recommended starting dose for MDD is 150 mg once daily in the morning. After 4 days of dosing, the dose may be increased to the target dose of 300 mg once daily in the morning.
It is generally agreed that acute episodes of depression require several months or longer of antidepressant treatment beyond the response in the acute episode. It is unknown whether the WELLBUTRIN XL dose needed for maintenance treatment is identical to the dose that provided an initial response. Periodically reassess the need for maintenance treatment and the appropriate dose for such treatment.
Dosage For Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
The recommended starting dose for SAD is 150 mg once daily. After 7 days of dosing, the dose may be increased to the target dose of 300 mg once daily in the morning. Doses above 300 mg of bupropion HCl extended-release were not assessed in the SAD trials.
For the prevention of seasonal MDD episodes associated with SAD, initiate WELLBUTRIN XL in the autumn, prior to the onset of depressive symptoms. Continue treatment through the winter season. Taper and discontinue WELLBUTRIN XL in early spring. For patients treated with 300 mg per day, decrease the dose to 150 mg once daily before discontinuing WELLBUTRIN XL. Individualize the timing of initiation, and duration of treatment should be individualized, based on the patient's historical pattern of seasonal MDD episodes.
Switching Patients From WELLBUTRIN Tablets Or From WELLBUTRIN SR Sustained-Release Tablets
When switching patients from WELLBUTRIN Tablets to WELLBUTRIN XL or from WELLBUTRIN SR Sustained-Release Tablets to WELLBUTRIN XL, give the same total daily dose when possible.
To Discontinue WELLBUTRIN XL, Taper The Dose
When discontinuing treatment in patients treated with WELLBUTRIN XL 300 mg once daily, decrease the dose to 150 mg once daily prior to discontinuation.
Dosage Adjustment In Patients With Hepatic Impairment
In patients with moderate to severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh score: 7 to 15), the maximum dose is 150 mg every other day. In patients with mild hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh score: 5 to 6), consider reducing the dose and/or frequency of dosing [see Use in Specific Populations and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Dose Adjustment In Patients With Renal Impairment
Consider reducing the dose and/or frequency of WELLBUTRIN in patients with renal impairment (Glomerular Filtration Rate less than 90 mL/min) [see Use in Specific Populations and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Switching A Patient To Or From A Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI) Antidepressant
At least 14 days should elapse between discontinuation of an MAOI intended to treat depression and initiation of therapy with WELLBUTRIN XL. Conversely, at least 14 days should be allowed after stopping WELLBUTRIN XL before starting an MAOI antidepressant [see CONTRAINDICATIONS and DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Use Of WELLBUTRIN XL With Reversible MAOIs Such As Linezolid Or Methylene Blue
Do not start WELLBUTRIN XL in a patient who is being treated with a reversible MAOI such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue. Drug interactions can increase risk of hypertensive reactions. In a patient who requires more urgent treatment of a psychiatric condition, non-pharmacological interventions, including hospitalization, should be considered [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].
In some cases, a patient already receiving therapy with WELLBUTRIN XL may require urgent treatment with linezolid or intravenous methylene blue. If acceptable alternatives to linezolid or intravenous methylene blue treatment are not available and the potential benefits of linezolid or intravenous methylene blue treatment are judged to outweigh the risks of hypertensive reactions in a particular patient, WELLBUTRIN XL should be stopped promptly, and linezolid or intravenous methylene blue can be administered. The patient should be monitored for 2 weeks or until 24 hours after the last dose of linezolid or intravenous methylene blue, whichever comes first. Therapy with WELLBUTRIN XL may be resumed 24 hours after the last dose of linezolid or intravenous methylene blue.
The risk of administering methylene blue by non-intravenous routes (such as oral tablets or by local injection) or in intravenous doses much lower than 1 mg per kg with WELLBUTRIN XL is unclear. The clinician should, nevertheless, be aware of the possibility of a drug interaction with such use [see CONTRAINDICATIONS and DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Dosage Forms And Strengths
WELLBUTRIN XL Extended-Release Tablets, 150 mg of bupropion hydrochloride, are creamy-white to pale yellow, round tablets printed with “WELLBUTRIN XL 150”.
WELLBUTRIN XL Extended-Release Tablets, 300 mg of bupropion hydrochloride, are creamy-white to pale yellow, round tablets printed with “WELLBUTRIN XL 300”.
Storage And Handling
WELLBUTRIN XL® Extended-Release Tablets, 150 mg of bupropion hydrochloride, are creamy-white to pale yellow, round tablets printed with “WELLBUTRIN XL 150” in bottles of 30 tablets (NDC 0187-0730-30) and 90 tablets (NDC 0187-0730-90).
WELLBUTRIN XL® Extended-Release Tablets, 300 mg of bupropion hydrochloride, are creamy-white to pale yellow, round tablets printed with “WELLBUTRIN XL 300” in bottles of 30 (NDC 0187-0731-30).
Store at 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted to 15°-30°C (59°-86°F) [see USP Controlled Room Temperature].
WELLBUTRIN XL Tablets may have an odor.
Manufactured for: Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC Bridgewater, NJ 08807 USA. By: Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. Steinbach, MB R5G 1Z7 Canada. Revised: Aug 2016
The following adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the labeling:
- Suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children, adolescents, and young adults [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Neuropsychiatric symptoms and suicide risk in smoking cessation treatment [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Seizure [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Hypertension [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Activation of mania or hypomania [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Psychosis and other neuropsychiatric events [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Angle-Closure Glaucoma [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Hypersensitivity reactions [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
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 to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice.
Commonly Observed Adverse Reactions In Controlled Clinical Trials Of Sustained-Release Bupropion Hydrochloride
Adverse reactions that occurred in at least 5% of patients treated with bupropion HCl sustained-release (300 mg and 400 mg per day) and at a rate at least twice the placebo rate are listed below.
400 mg/day of bupropion HCl sustained-release: abdominal pain, agitation, anxiety, dizziness, dry mouth, insomnia, myalgia, nausea, palpitation, pharyngitis, sweating, tinnitus, and urinary frequency.
WELLBUTRIN XL has been demonstrated to have similar bioavailability both to the immediate-release and sustained-release formulations of bupropion. The information included under this subsection and under subsection 6.2 is based primarily on data from controlled clinical trials with the sustained-release and extended-release formulations of bupropion hydrochloride.
Major Depressive Disorder
Adverse Reactions Leading to Discontinuation of Treatment with Bupropion HCl Immediate-Release, Bupropion HCl Sustained-Release, and Bupropion HCl Extended-Release in Major Depressive Disorder Trials
In placebo-controlled clinical trials with bupropion HCl sustained-release, 4%, 9%, and 11% of the placebo, 300 mg/day and 400 mg/day groups, respectively, discontinued treatment because of adverse reactions. The specific adverse reactions leading to discontinuation in at least 1% of the 300 mg/day or 400 mg/day groups and at a rate at least twice the placebo rate are listed in Table 2.
Table 2: Treatment Discontinuation Due to Adverse
Reactions in Placebo-Controlled Trials in MDD
|Adverse Reaction Term||Placebo
|Bupropion HCl Sustained-Release 300 mg/day
|Bupropion HCl Sustained-Release 400 mg/day
In clinical trials with bupropion HCl immediate-release, 10% of patients and volunteers discontinued due to an adverse reaction. Reactions resulting in discontinuation (in addition to those listed above for the sustained-release formulation) included vomiting, seizures, and sleep disturbances.
Adverse Reactions Occurring at an Incidence of > 1% in Patients Treated with Bupropion HCl Immediate-Release or Bupropion HCl Sustained-Release in MDD
Table 3 summarizes the adverse reactions that occurred in placebo-controlled trials in patients treated with bupropion HCl sustained-release 300 mg/day and 400 mg/day. These include reactions that occurred in either the 300 mg or 400 mg group at an incidence of 1% or more and were more frequent than in the placebo group.
Table 3: Adverse Reactions
in Placebo-Controlled Trials in Patients with MDD
|Bupropion HCl Sustained-Release 300 mg/day
|Bupropion HCl Sustained-Release 400 mg/day
|Central nervous system stimulation||1%||2%||1%|
|Blurred vision or diplopia||2%||3%||2%|
|Urinary tract infection||—2||1%||0%|
|1Incidence based on the number of female patients.
2Hyphen denotes adverse reactions occurring in greater than 0 but less than 0.5% of patients
The following additional adverse reactions occurred in controlled trials of bupropion HCl immediate-release (300 to 600 mg per day) at an incidence of at least 1% more frequently than in the placebo group were: cardiac arrhythmia (5% vs. 4%), hypertension (4% vs. 2%), hypotension (3% vs. 2%), menstrual complaints (5% vs. 1%), akathisia (2% vs. 1%), impaired sleep quality (4% vs. 2%), sensory disturbance (4% vs. 3%), confusion (8% vs. 5%), decreased libido (3% vs. 2%), hostility (6% vs. 4%), auditory disturbance (5% vs. 3%), and gustatory disturbance (3% vs. 1%).
Seasonal Affective Disorder
In placebo-controlled clinical trials in SAD, 9% of patients treated with WELLBUTRIN XL and 5% of patients treated with placebo discontinued treatment because of adverse reactions. The adverse reactions leading to discontinuation in at least 1% of patients treated with bupropion and at a rate numerically greater than the placebo rate were insomnia (2% vs. < 1%) and headache (1% vs. < 1%).
Table 4 summarizes the adverse reactions that occurred in patients treated with WELLBUTRIN XL for up to approximately 6 months in 3 placebo-controlled trials. These include reactions that occurred at an incidence of 2% or more and were more frequent than in the placebo group.
Table 4: Adverse Reactions in Placebo-Controlled
Trials in Patients with SAD
|System Organ Class/
|Bupropion HCl Extended-Release
|Abdominal pain||< 1%||2%|
|Nervous System Disorders|
|Infections and Infestations|
|Upper respiratory tract infection||8%||9%|
|Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue Disorders|
|Pain in extremity||2%||3%|
|Respiratory, Thoracic, and Mediastinal Disorders|
|General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions|
|Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders|
|Metabolism and Nutrition Disorders|
|Reproductive System and Breast Disorders|
|Ear and Labyrinth Disorders|
Changes In Body Weight
Table 5 presents the incidence of body weight changes ( ≥ 5 lbs) in the short-term MDD trials using bupropion HCl sustained-release. There was a dose-related decrease in body weight.
Table 5: Incidence of Weight
Gain or Weight Loss ( ≥ 5 lbs) in
MDD Trials Using Bupropion HClSustained-Release
|Weight Change||Bupropion HCl Sustained-Release 300 mg/day
|Bupropion HCl Sustained-Release 400 mg/day
|Gained > 5 lbs||3%||2%||4%|
|Lost > 5 lbs||14%||19%||6%|
Table 6 presents the incidence of body weight changes ( ≥ 5 lbs) in the 3 SAD trials using bupropion HCl extended-release. A higher proportion of subjects in the bupropion group (23%) had a weight loss ≥ 5 lbs, compared to the placebo group (11%). These were relatively long-term trials (up to 6 months).
Table 6: Incidence of Weight
Gain or Weight Loss ( ≥ 5 lbs) in
SAD Trials Using Bupropion HCl Extended-Release
|Weight Change||Bupropion HCl Extended-Release 150 to 300 mg/day
|Gained > 5 lbs||11%||21%|
|Lost > 5 lbs||23%||11%|
The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of WELLBUTRIN XL. 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.
Abnormal liver function, bruxism, gastric reflux, gingivitis, glossitis, increased salivation, jaundice, mouth ulcers, stomatitis, thirst, edema of tongue, colitis, esophagitis, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, gum hemorrhage, hepatitis, intestinal perforation, liver damage, pancreatitis, and stomach ulcer.
Hemic And Lymphatic
Ecchymosis, anemia, leukocytosis, leukopenia, lymphadenopathy, pancytopenia, and thrombocytopenia. Altered PT and/or INR, associated with hemorrhagic or thrombotic complications, were observed when bupropion was coadministered with warfarin.
Metabolic And Nutritional
Leg cramps, fever/rhabdomyolysis, and muscle weakness.
Abnormal coordination, depersonalization, emotional lability, hyperkinesia, hypertonia, hypesthesia, vertigo, amnesia, ataxia, derealization, abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG), aggression, akinesia, aphasia, coma, dysarthria, dyskinesia, dystonia, euphoria, extrapyramidal syndrome, hypokinesia, increased libido, neuralgia, neuropathy, paranoid ideation, restlessness, suicide attempt, and unmasking tardive dyskinesia.
Bronchospasm and pneumonia.
Impotence, polyuria, prostate disorder, abnormal ejaculation, cystitis, dyspareunia, dysuria, gynecomastia, menopause, painful erection, salpingitis, urinary incontinence, urinary retention, and vaginitis.
Potential For Other Drugs To Affect WELLBUTRIN XL
Bupropion is primarily metabolized to hydroxybupropion by CYP2B6. Therefore, the potential exists for drug interactions between WELLBUTRIN XL and drugs that are inhibitors or inducers of CYP2B6.
Inhibitors Of CYP2B6
Ticlopidine and Clopidogrel: Concomitant treatment with these drugs can increase bupropion exposures but decrease hydroxybupropion exposure. Based on clinical response, dosage adjustment of WELLBUTRIN XL may be necessary when coadministered with CYP2B6 inhibitors (e.g., ticlopidine or clopidogrel) [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Inducers Of CYP2B6
Ritonavir, Lopinavir, and Efavirenz: Concomitant treatment with these drugs can decrease bupropion and hydroxybupropion exposure. Dosage increase of WELLBUTRIN XL may be necessary when coadministered with ritonavir, lopinavir, or efavirenz but should not exceed the maximum recommended dose [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Carbamazepine, Phenobarbital, Phenytoin: While not systemically studied, these drugs may induce metabolism of bupropion and may decrease bupropion exposure [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. If bupropion is used concomitantly with a CYP inducer, it may be necessary to increase the dose of bupropion, but the maximum recommended dose should not be exceeded.
Potential For WELLBUTRIN XL To Affect Other Drugs
Drugs Metabolized By CYP2D6
Bupropion and its metabolites (erythrohydrobupropion, threohydrobupropion, hydroxybupropion) are CYP2D6 inhibitors. Therefore, coadministration of WELLBUTRIN XL with drugs that are metabolized by CYP2D6 can increase the exposures of drugs that are substrates of CYP2D6. Such drugs include certain antidepressants (e.g., venlafaxine, nortriptyline, imipramine, desipramine, paroxetine, fluoxetine, and sertraline), antipsychotics (e.g., haloperidol, risperidone, and thioridazine), beta-blockers (e.g., metoprolol), and Type 1C antiarrhythmics (e.g., propafenone, and flecainide). When used concomitantly with WELLBUTRIN XL, it may be necessary to decrease the dose of these CYP2D6 substrates, particularly for drugs with a narrow therapeutic index.
Drugs that require metabolic activation by CYP2D6 to be effective (e.g., tamoxifen), theoretically could have reduced efficacy when administered concomitantly with inhibitors of CYP2D6 such as bupropion. Patients treated concomitantly with WELLBUTRIN XL and such drugs may require increased doses of the drug [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Drugs That Lower Seizure Threshold
Use extreme caution when coadministering WELLBUTRIN XL with other drugs that lower the seizure threshold (e.g., other bupropion products, antipsychotics, antidepressants, theophylline, or systemic corticosteroids). Use low initial doses of WELLBUTRIN XL and increase the dose gradually [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Dopaminergic Drugs (Levodopa and Amantadine)
Bupropion, levodopa, and amantadine have dopamine agonist effects. CNS toxicity has been reported when bupropion was coadministered with levodopa or amantadine. Adverse reactions have included restlessness, agitation, tremor, ataxia, gait disturbance, vertigo, and dizziness. It is presumed that the toxicity results from cumulative dopamine agonist effects. Use caution when administering WELLBUTRIN XL concomitantly with these drugs.
Use With Alcohol
In postmarketing experience, there have been rare reports of adverse neuropsychiatric events or reduced alcohol tolerance in patients who were drinking alcohol during treatment with WELLBUTRIN XL. The consumption of alcohol during treatment with WELLBUTRIN XL should be minimized or avoided.
Bupropion inhibits the reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine. Concomitant use of MAOIs and bupropion is contraindicated because there is an increased risk of hypertensive reactions if bupropion is used concomitantly with MAOIs. Studies in animals demonstrate that the acute toxicity of bupropion is enhanced by the MAO inhibitor phenelzine. At least 14 days should elapse between discontinuation of an MAOI intended to treat depression and initiation of treatment with WELLBUTRIN XL. Conversely, at least 14 days should be allowed after stopping WELLBUTRIN XL before starting an MAOI antidepressant [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and CONTRAINDICATIONS].
Drug-Laboratory Test Interactions
False-positive urine immunoassay screening tests for amphetamines have been reported in patients taking bupropion. This is due to lack of specificity of some screening tests. False-positive test results may result even following discontinuation of bupropion therapy. Confirmatory tests, such as gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, will distinguish bupropion from amphetamines.
Drug Abuse And Dependence
Bupropion is not a controlled substance.
Controlled clinical studies of bupropion HCl immediate-release conducted in normal volunteers, in subjects with a history of multiple drug abuse, and in depressed patients demonstrated an increase in motor activity and agitation/excitement.
In a population of individuals experienced with drugs of abuse, a single dose of 400 mg bupropion produced mild amphetamine-like activity as compared to placebo on the Morphine-Benzedrine Subscale of the Addiction Research Center Inventories (ARCI), and a score intermediate between placebo and amphetamine on the Liking Scale of the ARCI. These scales measure general feelings of euphoria and drug desirability.
Findings in clinical trials, however, are not known to reliably predict the abuse potential of drugs. Nonetheless, evidence from single-dose studies does suggest that the recommended daily dosage of bupropion when administered in divided doses is not likely to be significantly reinforcing to amphetamine or CNS stimulant abusers. However, higher doses (that could not be tested because of the risk of seizure) might be modestly attractive to those who abuse CNS stimulant drugs.
Bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets are intended for oral use only. The inhalation of crushed tablets or injection of dissolved bupropion has been reported. Seizures and/or cases of death have been reported when bupropion has been administered intranasally or by parenteral injection.
Studies in rodents and primates demonstrated that bupropion exhibits some pharmacologic actions common to psychostimulants. In rodents, it has been shown to increase locomotor activity, elicit a mild stereotyped behavioral response, and increase rates of responding in several schedule-controlled behavior paradigms. In primate models assessing the positive reinforcing effects of psychoactive drugs, bupropion was self-administered intravenously. In rats, bupropion produced amphetamine-like and cocaine-like discriminative stimulus effects in drug discrimination paradigms used to characterize the subjective effects of psychoactive drugs.
Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.
Suicidal Thoughts And Behaviors In Children, Adolescents, And Young Adults
Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), both adult and pediatric, may experience worsening of their depression and/or the emergence of suicidal ideation and behavior (suicidality) or unusual changes in behavior, whether or not they are taking antidepressant medications, and this risk may persist until significant remission occurs. Suicide is a known risk of depression and certain other psychiatric disorders, and these disorders themselves are the strongest predictors of suicide. There has been a long-standing concern that antidepressants may have a role in inducing worsening of depression and the emergence of suicidality in certain patients during the early phases of treatment.
Pooled analyses of short-term placebo-controlled trials of antidepressant drugs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors [SSRIs] and others) show that these drugs increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 18 to 24) with major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. 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 with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older.
The pooled analyses of placebo-controlled trials in children and adolescents with MDD, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), or other psychiatric disorders included a total of 24 short-term trials of 9 antidepressant drugs in over 4400 patients. The pooled analyses of placebo-controlled trials in adults with MDD or other psychiatric disorders included a total of 295 short-term trials (median duration of 2 months) of 11 antidepressant drugs in over 77,000 patients. There was considerable variation in risk of suicidality among drugs, but a tendency toward an increase in the younger patients for almost all drugs studied. There were differences in absolute risk of suicidality across the different indications, with the highest incidence in MDD. The risk differences (drug vs. placebo), however, were relatively stable within age strata and across indications. These risk differences (drug-placebo difference in the number of cases of suicidality per 1000 patients treated) are provided in Table 1.
Table 1: Risk Differences in the Number of Suicidality
Cases by Age Group in the Pooled Placebo-Controlled Trials of Antidepressants
in Pediatric and Adult Patients
|Age Range||Drug-Placebo Difference in Number of Cases of Suicidality per 1000 Patients Treated|
|Increases Compared to Placebo|
|< 18 years||14 additional cases|
|18-24 years||5 additional cases|
|Decreases Compared to Placebo|
|25-64 years||1 fewer case|
|> 65 years||6 fewer cases|
No suicides occurred in any of the pediatric trials. There were suicides in the adult trials, but the number was not sufficient to reach any conclusion about drug effect on suicide.
It is unknown whether the suicidality risk extends to longer-term use, i.e., beyond several months. However, there is substantial evidence from placebo-controlled maintenance trials in adults with depression that the use of antidepressants can delay the recurrence of depression.
All patients being treated with antidepressants for any indication should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the initial few months of a course of drug therapy, or at times of dose changes, either increases or decreases [see BOXED WARNING and Use in Specific Populations].
The following symptoms, anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, and mania, have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants for major depressive disorder as well as for other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric. Although a causal link between the emergence of such symptoms and either the worsening of depression and/or the emergence of suicidal impulses has not been established, there is concern that such symptoms may represent precursors to emerging suicidality.
Consideration should be given to changing the therapeutic regimen, including possibly discontinuing the medication, in patients whose depression is persistently worse, or who are experiencing emergent suicidality or symptoms that might be precursors to worsening depression or suicidality, especially if these symptoms are severe, abrupt in onset, or were not part of the patient's presenting symptoms.
Families and caregivers of patients being treated with antidepressants for major depressive disorder or other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric, should be alerted about the need to monitor patients for the emergence of agitation, irritability, unusual changes in behavior, and the other symptoms described above, as well as the emergence of suicidality, and to report such symptoms immediately to healthcare providers. Such monitoring should include daily observation by families and caregivers. Prescriptions for WELLBUTRIN XL should be written for the smallest quantity of tablets consistent with good patient management, in order to reduce the risk of overdose.
Neuropsychiatric Symptoms And Suicide Risk In Smoking Cessation Treatment
WELLBUTRIN XL is not approved for smoking cessation treatment; however, bupropion HCl sustained-release is approved for this use. Serious neuropsychiatric symptoms have been reported in patients taking bupropion for smoking cessation. These have included changes in mood (including depression and mania), psychosis, hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, homicidal ideation, hostility, agitation, aggression, anxiety, and panic, as well as suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, and completed suicide [see BOXED WARNING and ADVERSE REACTIONS]. Observe patients for the occurrence of neuropsychiatric reactions. Instruct patients to contact a healthcare professional if such reactions occur.
In many of these cases, a causal relationship to bupropion treatment is not certain, because depressed mood can be a symptom of nicotine withdrawal. However, some of the cases occurred in patients taking bupropion who continued to smoke.
WELLBUTRIN XL can cause seizure. The risk of seizure is dose-related. The dose should not exceed 300 mg once daily. Increase the dose gradually. Discontinue WELLBUTRIN XL and do not restart treatment if the patient experiences a seizure.
The risk of seizures is also related to patient factors, clinical situations, and concomitant medications that lower the seizure threshold. Consider these risks before initiating treatment with WELLBUTRIN XL. WELLBUTRIN XL is contraindicated in patients with a seizure disorder or conditions that increase the risk of seizure (e.g., severe head injury, arteriovenous malformation, CNS tumor or CNS infection, severe stroke, anorexia nervosa or bulimia, or abrupt discontinuation of alcohol, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and antiepileptic drugs [see CONTRAINDICATIONS]. The following conditions can also increase the risk of seizure: concomitant use of other medications that lower the seizure threshold (e.g., other bupropion products, antipsychotics, tricyclic antidepressants, theophylline, and systemic corticosteroids), metabolic disorders (e.g., hypoglycemia, hyponatremia, severe hepatic impairment, and hypoxia), or use of illicit drugs (e.g., cocaine) or abuse or misuse of prescription drugs such as CNS stimulants. Additional predisposing conditions include diabetes mellitus treated with oral hypoglycemic drugs or insulin, use of anorectic drugs, excessive use of alcohol, benzodiazepines, sedative/hypnotics, or opiates.
Incidence Of Seizure With Bupropion Use
The incidence of seizure with WELLBUTRIN XL has not been formally evaluated in clinical trials. In studies using bupropion HCl sustained-release up to 300 mg per day the incidence of seizure was approximately 0.1% (1/1000 patients). In a large prospective, follow-up study, the seizure incidence was approximately 0.4% (13/3200) with bupropion HCl immediate-release in the range of 300 mg to 450 mg per day.
Additional data accumulated for bupropion immediate-release suggests that the estimated seizure incidence increases almost tenfold between 450 and 600 mg/day. The risk of seizure can be reduced if the WELLBUTRIN XL dose does not exceed 450 mg once daily and the titration rate is gradual.
Treatment with WELLBUTRIN XL can result in elevated blood pressure and hypertension.
Assess blood pressure before initiating treatment with WELLBUTRIN XL, and monitor periodically during treatment. The risk of hypertension is increased if WELLBUTRIN XL is used concomitantly with MAOIs or other drugs that increase dopaminergic or noradrenergic activity [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].
Data from a comparative trial of the sustained-release formulation of bupropion HCl, nicotine transdermal system (NTS), the combination of sustained-release bupropion plus NTS, and placebo as an aid to smoking cessation suggest a higher incidence of treatment-emergent hypertension in patients treated with the combination of sustained-release bupropion and NTS. In this trial, 6.1% of subjects treated with the combination of sustained-release bupropion and NTS had treatment-emergent hypertension compared to 2.5%, 1.6%, and 3.1% of subjects treated with sustained-release bupropion, NTS, and placebo, respectively. The majority of these subjects had evidence of pre-existing hypertension. Three subjects (1.2%) treated with the combination of sustained-release bupropion and NTS and 1 subject (0.4%) treated with NTS had study medication discontinued due to hypertension compared with none of the subjects treated with sustained-release bupropion or placebo. Monitoring of blood pressure is recommended in patients who receive the combination of bupropion and nicotine replacement.
In the 3 trials of bupropion HCl extended-release in seasonal affective disorder, there were significant elevations in blood pressure. Hypertension was reported as an adverse reaction for 2% of the bupropion group (11/537) and none in the placebo group (0/511). In the SAD trials, 2 patients treated with bupropion discontinued from the study because they developed hypertension. None of the placebo group discontinued because of hypertension. The mean increase in systolic blood pressure was 1.3 mmHg in the bupropion group and 0.1 mmHg in the placebo group. The difference was statistically significant (p=0.013). The mean increase in diastolic blood pressure was 0.8 mmHg in the bupropion group and 0.1 mmHg in the placebo group. The difference was not statistically significant (p=0.075). In the SAD trials, 82% of patients were treated with 300 mg per day, and 18% were treated with 150 mg per day. The mean daily dose was 270 mg per day. The mean duration of bupropion exposure was 126 days.
In a clinical trial of bupropion immediate-release in MDD subjects with stable congestive heart failure (N=36), bupropion was associated with an exacerbation of pre-existing hypertension in 2 subjects, leading to discontinuation of bupropion treatment. There are no controlled studies assessing the safety of bupropion in patients with a recent history of myocardial infarction or unstable cardiac disease.
Activation Of Mania/Hypomania
Antidepressant treatment can precipitate a manic, mixed, or hypomanic manic episode. The risk appears to be increased in patients with bipolar disorder or who have risk factors for bipolar disorder. Prior to initiating WELLBUTRIN XL, screen patients for a history of bipolar disorder and the presence of risk factors for bipolar disorder (e.g., family history of bipolar disorder, suicide, or depression). WELLBUTRIN XL is not approved for the treatment of bipolar depression.
Psychosis And Other Neuropsychiatric Reactions
Depressed patients treated with bupropion have had a variety of neuropsychiatric signs and symptoms, including delusions, hallucinations, psychosis, concentration disturbance, paranoia, and confusion. Some of these patients had a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. In some cases, these symptoms abated upon dose reduction and/or withdrawal of treatment. Discontinue WELLBUTRIN XL if these reactions occur.
Angle-Closure Glaucoma: The pupillary dilation that occurs following use of many antidepressant drugs including WELLBUTRIN XL may trigger an angle-closure attack in a patient with anatomically narrow angles who does not have a patent iridectomy.
Anaphylactoid/anaphylactic reactions have occurred during clinical trials with bupropion. Reactions have been characterized by pruritus, urticaria, angioedema, and dyspnea, requiring medical treatment. In addition, there have been rare, spontaneous postmarketing reports of erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and anaphylactic shock associated with bupropion. Instruct patients to discontinue WELLBUTRIN XL and consult a healthcare provider if they develop an allergic or anaphylactoid/anaphylactic reaction (e.g., skin rash, pruritus, hives, chest pain, edema, and shortness of breath) during treatment.
Patient Counseling Information
Advise the patient to read the FDA-approved patient labeling (Medication Guide).
Inform patients, their families, and their caregivers about the benefits and risks associated with treatment with WELLBUTRIN XL and counsel them in its appropriate use.
A patient Medication Guide about “Antidepressant Medicines, Depression and Other Serious Mental Illnesses, and Suicidal Thoughts or Actions,” “Quitting Smoking, Quit-Smoking Medications, Changes in Thinking and Behavior, Depression, and Suicidal Thoughts or Actions,” and “What Other Important Information Should I Know About WELLBUTRIN XL?” is available for WELLBUTRIN XL. Instruct patients, their families, and their caregivers to read the Medication Guide and assist them in understanding its contents. Patients should be given the opportunity to discuss the contents of the Medication Guide and to obtain answers to any questions they may have. The complete text of the Medication Guide is reprinted at the end of this document.
Advise patients regarding the following issues and to alert their prescriber if these occur while taking WELLBUTRIN XL.
Suicidal Thoughts And Behaviors
Instruct patients, their families, and/or their caregivers to be alert to the emergence of anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, mania, other unusual changes in behavior, worsening of depression, and suicidal ideation, especially early during antidepressant treatment and when the dose is adjusted up or down. Advise families and caregivers of patients to observe for the emergence of such symptoms on a day-to-day basis, since changes may be abrupt. Such symptoms should be reported to the patient's prescriber or health professional, especially if they are severe, abrupt in onset, or were not part of the patient's presenting symptoms. Symptoms such as these may be associated with an increased risk for suicidal thinking and behavior and indicate a need for very close monitoring and possibly changes in the medication.
Neuropsychiatric Symptoms And Suicide Risk In Smoking Cessation Treatment
Although WELLBUTRIN XL is not indicated for smoking cessation treatment, it contains the same active ingredient as ZYBAN® which is approved for this use. Advise patients, families and caregivers that quitting smoking, with or without ZYBAN, may trigger nicotine withdrawal symptoms (e.g., including depression or agitation) or worsen pre-existing psychiatric illness. Some patients have experienced changes in mood (including depression and mania), psychosis, hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, homicidal ideation, aggression, anxiety, and panic, as well as suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, and completed suicide when attempting to quit smoking while taking ZYBAN. If patients develop agitation, hostility, depressed mood, or changes in thinking or behavior that are not typical for them, or if patients develop suicidal ideation or behavior, they should be urged to report these symptoms to their healthcare provider immediately.
Severe Allergic Reactions
Educate patients on the symptoms of hypersensitivity and to discontinue WELLBUTRIN XL if they have a severe allergic reaction.
Instruct patients to discontinue and not restart WELLBUTRIN XL if they experience a seizure while on treatment. Advise patients that the excessive use or the abrupt discontinuation of alcohol, benzodiazepines, antiepileptic drugs, or sedatives/hypnotics can increase the risk of seizure. Advise patients to minimize or avoid the use of alcohol.
Patients should be advised that taking WELLBUTRIN XL can cause mild pupillary dilation, which in susceptible individuals, can lead to an episode of angle-closure glaucoma. Pre-existing glaucoma is almost always open-angle glaucoma because angle-closure glaucoma, when diagnosed, can be treated definitively with iridectomy. Open-angleglaucoma is not a risk factor for angle-closure glaucoma. Patients may wish to be examined to determine whether they are susceptible to angle closure, and have a prophylactic procedure (e.g., iridectomy), if they are susceptible [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Educate patients that WELLBUTRIN XL contains the same active ingredient (bupropion) found in ZYBAN, which is used as an aid to smoking cessation treatment, and that WELLBUTRIN XL should not be used in combination with ZYBAN or any other medications that contain bupropion hydrochloride (such as WELLBUTRIN SR, the sustained-release formulation, WELLBUTRIN, the immediate-release formulation, and APLENZIN, a bupropion hydrobromide formulation). In addition, there are a number of generic bupropion HCl products for the immediate, sustained, and extended-release formulations.
Potential For Cognitive And Motor Impairment
Advise patients that any CNS-active drug like WELLBUTRIN XL Tablets may impair their ability to perform tasks requiring judgment or motor and cognitive skills. Advise patients that until they are reasonably certain that WELLBUTRIN XL Tablets do not adversely affect their performance, they should refrain from driving an automobile or operating complex, hazardous machinery. WELLBUTRIN XL treatment may lead to decreased alcohol tolerance.
Counsel patients to notify their healthcare provider if they are taking or plan to take any prescription or over-the-counter drugs, because WELLBUTRIN XL Tablets and other drugs may affect each other's metabolism.
Advise patients to notify their healthcare provider if they become pregnant or intend to become pregnant during therapy.
Precautions For Nursing Mothers
Communicate with the patient and pediatric healthcare provider regarding the infant's exposure to bupropion through human milk. Instruct patients to immediately contact the infant's healthcare provider if they note any side effect in the infant that concerns them or is persistent.
Instruct patients to swallow WELLBUTRIN XL Tablets whole so that the release rate is not altered. Instruct patients if they miss a dose, not to take an extra tablet to make up for the missed dose and to take the next tablet at the regular time because of the dose-related risk of seizure. Instruct patients that WELLBUTRIN XL tablets should be swallowed whole and not crushed, divided, or chewed. WELLBUTRIN XL should be administered in the morning and may be taken with or without food.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
Lifetime carcinogenicity studies were performed in rats and mice at doses up to 300 and 150 mg/kg/day bupropion hydrochloride, respectively. These doses are approximately 7 and 2 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD), respectively, on a mg/m² basis. In the rat study there was an increase in nodular proliferative lesions of the liver at doses of 100 to 300 mg/kg/day of bupropion hydrochloride (approximately 2 to 7 times the MRHD on a mg/m² basis); lower doses were not tested. The question of whether or not such lesions may be precursors of neoplasms of the liver is currently unresolved. Similar liver lesions were not seen in the mouse study, and no increase in malignant tumors of the liver and other organs was seen in either study.
Bupropion produced a positive response (2 to 3 times control mutation rate) in 2 of 5 strains in one Ames bacterial mutagenicity assay, but was negative in another. Bupropion produced an increase in chromosomal aberrations in 1 of 3 in vivo rat bone marrow cytogenetic studies.
A fertility study in rats at doses up to 300 mg/kg/day revealed no evidence of impaired fertility.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category C
Data from epidemiological studies including pregnant women exposed to bupropion in the first trimester indicate no increased risk of congenital malformations overall. All pregnancies regardless of drug exposure have a background rate of 2% to 4% for major malformations and 15% to 20% for pregnancy loss. No clear evidence of teratogenic activity was found in reproductive developmental studies conducted in rats and rabbits. However, in rabbits, slightly increased incidences of fetal malformations and skeletal variations were observed at doses approximately equal to the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) and greater and decreased fetal weights were seen at doses twice the MRHD and greater. WELLBUTRIN XL should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
Consider the risk of untreated depression when discontinuing or changing treatment with antidepressant medications during pregnancy and postpartum.
Data from an international bupropion Pregnancy registry (675 first trimester exposures) and a retrospective cohort study using the United Healthcare database (1,213 first trimester exposures) did not show an increased risk for malformations overall.
No increased risk for cardiovascular malformations overall has been observed after bupropion exposure during the first trimester. The prospectively observed rate of cardiovascular malformations in pregnancies with exposure to bupropion in the first trimester from the international Pregnancy Registry was 1.3% (9 cardiovascular malformations/675 first-trimester maternal bupropion exposures), which is similar to the background rate of cardiovascular malformations (approximately 1%). Data from the United Healthcare database and a case-controlled study (6,853 infants with cardiovascular malformations and 5,753 with non-cardiovascular malformations) from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS) did not show an increased risk for cardiovascular malformations overall after bupropion exposure during the first trimester.
Study findings on bupropion exposure during the first trimester and risk left ventricular outflow tract obstruction (LVOTO) are inconsistent and do not allow conclusions regarding possible association. The United Healthcare database lacked sufficient power to evaluate this association; the NBDPS found increased risk for LVOTO (n = 10; adjusted OR = 2.6; 95% CI 1.2, 5.7) and the Slone Epidemiology case control study did not find increased risk for LVOTO.
Study findings on bupropion exposure during the first trimester and risk for ventricular septal defect (VSD) are inconsistent and do not allow conclusions regarding a possible association. The Slone Epidemiology Study found an increased risk for VSD following first trimester maternal bupropion exposure (n = 17; adjusted OR = 2.5; 95% CI: 1.3, 5.0) but did not find an increased risk for any other cardiovascular malformations studied (including LVOTO as above). The NBDPS and United Healthcare database study did not find an association between first trimester maternal bupropion exposure and VSD.
For the findings of LVOTO and VSD, the studies were limited by the small number of exposed cases, inconsistent findings among studies, and the potential for chance findings from multiple comparisons in case control studies.
In studies conducted in rats and rabbits, bupropion was administered orally at doses of up to 450 and 150 mg/kg/day, respectively (approximately 11 and 7 times the MRHD, respectively, on a mg/m² basis), during the period of organogenesis. No clear evidence of teratogenic activity was found in either species; however, in rabbits, slightly increased incidences of fetal malformations and skeletal variations were observed at the lowest dose tested (25 mg/kg/day, approximately equal to the MRHD on a mg/m² basis) and greater. Decreased fetal weights were observed at 50 mg/kg and greater. When rats were administered bupropion at oral doses of up to 300 mg/kg/day (approximately 7 times the MRHD on a mg/m² basis) prior to mating and throughout pregnancy and lactation, there were no apparent adverse effects on offspring development.
Bupropion and its metabolites are present in human milk. In a lactation study of ten women, levels of orally dosed bupropion and its active metabolites were measured in expressed milk. The average daily infant exposure (assuming 150 mL/kg daily consumption) to bupropion and its active metabolites was 2% of the maternal weight-adjusted dose. Exercise caution when WELLBUTRIN XL is administered to a nursing woman.
Safety and effectiveness in the pediatric population have not been established. When considering the use of WELLBUTRIN XL in a child or adolescent, balance the potential risks with the clinical need [see BOXED WARNING and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Of the approximately 6000 patients who participated in clinical trials with bupropion hydrochloride sustained-release tablets (depression and smoking cessation studies), 275 were ≥ 65 years old and 47 were ≥ 75 years old. In addition, several hundred patients ≥ 65 years of age participated in clinical trials using the immediate-release formulation of bupropion hydrochloride (depression studies). No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects. Reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.
Bupropion is extensively metabolized in the liver to active metabolites, which are further metabolized and excreted by the kidneys. The risk of adverse reactions may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, it may be necessary to consider this factor in dose selection; it may be useful to monitor renal function [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, Use in Specific Populations, and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Consider a reduced dose and/or dosing frequency of WELLBUTRIN XL in patients with renal impairment (Glomerular Filtration Rate: < 90 mL/min). Bupropion and its metabolites are cleared renally and may accumulate in such patients to a greater extent than usual. Monitor closely for adverse reactions that could indicate high bupropion or metabolite exposures [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
In patients with moderate to severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh score: 7 to 15), the maximum WELLBUTRIN XL dose is 150 mg every other day. In patients with mild hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh score: 5 to 6), consider reducing the dose and/or frequency of dosing [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Human Overdose Experience
Overdoses of up to 30 grams or more of bupropion have been reported. Seizure was reported in approximately one third of all cases. Other serious reactions reported with overdoses of bupropion alone included hallucinations, loss of consciousness, sinus tachycardia, and ECG changes such as conduction disturbances or arrhythmias. Fever, muscle rigidity, rhabdomyolysis, hypotension, stupor, coma, and respiratory failure have been reported mainly when bupropion was part of multiple drug overdoses.
Although most patients recovered without sequelae, deaths associated with overdoses of bupropion alone have been reported in patients ingesting large doses of the drug. Multiple uncontrolled seizures, bradycardia, cardiac failure, and cardiac arrest prior to death were reported in these patients.
Consult a Certified Poison Control Center for up-to-date guidance and advice. Telephone numbers for certified poison control centers are listed in the Physicians' Desk Reference (PDR). Call 1-800-222-1222 or refer to www.poison.org.
There are no known antidotes for bupropion. In case of an overdose, provide supportive care, including close medical supervision and monitoring. Consider the possibility of multiple drug overdose.
- WELLBUTRIN XL is contraindicated in patients with seizure disorder.
- WELLBUTRIN XL is contraindicated in patients with a current or prior diagnosis of bulimia or anorexia nervosa as a higher incidence of seizures was observed in such patients treated with WELLBUTRIN XL [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
- WELLBUTRIN XL is contraindicated in patients undergoing abrupt discontinuation of alcohol, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and antiepileptic drugs [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and DRUG INTERACTIONS].
- The use of MAOIs (intended to treat psychiatric disorders) concomitantly with WELLBUTRIN XL or within 14 days of discontinuing treatment with WELLBUTRIN XL is contraindicated. There is an increased risk of hypertensive reactions when WELLBUTRIN XL is used concomitantly with MAOIs. The use of WELLBUTRIN XL within 14 days of discontinuing treatment with an MAOI is also contraindicated. Starting WELLBUTRIN XL in a patient treated with reversible MAOIs such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue is contraindicated [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and DRUG INTERACTIONS].
- WELLBUTRIN XL is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to bupropion or other ingredients of WELLBUTRIN XL. Anaphylactoid/anaphylactic reactions and Stevens-Johnson syndrome have been reported [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Mechanism Of Action
The mechanism of action of bupropion is unknown, as is the case with other antidepressants. However, it is presumed that this action is mediated by noradrenergic and/or dopaminergic mechanisms. Bupropion is a relatively weak inhibitor of the neuronal uptake of norepinephrine and dopamine and does not inhibit monoamine oxidase or the reuptake of serotonin.
Bupropion is a racemic mixture. The pharmacologic activity and pharmacokinetics of the individual enantiomers have not been studied.
Following chronic dosing, the mean steady-state plasma concentration of bupropion was reached within 8 days. The mean elimination half-life (±SD) of bupropion 21 (±9) hours.
In a study comparing 14-day dosing with WELLBUTRIN XL, 300 mg once-daily to the immediate-release formulation of bupropion at 100 mg 3 times daily, equivalence was demonstrated for peak plasma concentration and area under the curve for bupropion and the three metabolites (hydroxybupropion, threohydrobupropion, and erythrohydrobupropion). Additionally, in a study comparing 14-day dosing with WELLBUTRIN XL 300 mg once daily to the sustained-release formulation of bupropion at 150 mg 2 times daily, equivalence was demonstrated for peak plasma concentration and area under the curve for bupropion and the three metabolites.
Following single oral administration of WELLBUTRIN XL tablets to healthy volunteers, the median time to peak plasma concentrations for bupropion was approximately 5 hours. The presence of food did not affect the peak concentration or area under the curve of bupropion.
In vitro tests show that bupropion is 84% bound to human plasma proteins at concentrations up to 200 mcg/mL. The extent of protein binding of the hydroxybupropion metabolite is similar to that for bupropion, whereas the extent of protein binding of the threohydrobupropion metabolite is about half that of bupropion.
Bupropion is extensively metabolized in humans. Three metabolites are active: hydroxybupropion, which is formed via hydroxylation of the tert-butyl group of bupropion, and the amino-alcohol isomers threohydrobupropion and erythrohydrobupropion, which are formed via reduction of the carbonyl group. In vitro findings suggest that CYP2B6 is the principal isoenzyme involved in the formation of hydroxybupropion, while cytochrome P450 enzymes are not involved in the formation of threohydrobupropion. Oxidation of the bupropion side chain results in the formation of a glycine conjugate of meta-chlorobenzoic acid, which is then excreted as the major urinary metabolite. The potency and toxicity of the metabolites relative to bupropion have not been fully characterized. However, it has been demonstrated in an antidepressant screening test in mice that hydroxybupropion is one half as potent as bupropion, while threohydrobupropion and erythrohydrobupropion are 5-fold less potent than bupropion. This may be of clinical importance, because the plasma concentrations of the metabolites are as high or higher than those of bupropion.
At steady state, peak plasma concentration of hydroxybupropion occurred approximately 7 hours after administration of WELLBUTRIN XL, and it was approximately 7 times the peak level of the parent drug. The elimination half-life of hydroxybupropion is approximately 20 (±5) hours, and its AUC at steady state is about 13 times that of bupropion. The times to peak concentrations for the erythrohydrobupropion and threohydrobupropion metabolites are similar to that of hydroxybupropion. However, the elimination half-lives of erythrohydrobupropion and threohydrobupropion are longer, approximately 33 (±10) and 37 (±13) hours, respectively, and steady-state AUCs were 1.4 and 7 times that of bupropion, respectively.
Bupropion and its metabolites exhibit linear kinetics following chronic administration of 300 to 450 mg/day.
Following oral administration of 200 mg of 14C-bupropion in humans, 87% and 10% of the radioactive dose were recovered in the urine and feces, respectively. Only 0.5% of the oral dose was excreted as unchanged bupropion.
Factors or conditions altering metabolic capacity (e.g., liver disease, congestive heart failure [CHF], age, concomitant medications, etc.) or elimination may be expected to influence the degree and extent of accumulation of the active metabolites of bupropion. The elimination of the major metabolites of bupropion may be affected by reduced renal or hepatic function, because they are moderately polar compounds and are likely to undergo further metabolism or conjugation in the liver prior to urinary excretion.
There is limited information on the pharmacokinetics of bupropion in patients with renal impairment. An inter-trial comparison between normal subjects and subjects with end-stage renal failure demonstrated that the parent drug Cmax and AUC values were comparable in the 2 groups, whereas the hydroxybupropion and threohydrobupropion metabolites had a 2.3-and 2.8-fold increase, respectively, in AUC for subjects with end-stage renal failure. A second study, comparing normal subjects and subjects with moderate-to-severe renal impairment (GFR 30.9 ± 10.8 mL/min) showed that after a single 150 mg dose of sustained-release bupropion, exposure to bupropion was approximately 2-fold higher in subjects with impaired renal function, while levels of the hydroxybupropion and threo/erythrohydrobupropion (combined) metabolites were similar in the 2 groups. Bupropion is extensively metabolized in the liver to active metabolites, which are further metabolized and subsequently excreted by the kidneys. The elimination of the major metabolites of bupropion may be reduced by impaired renal function. WELLBUTRIN XL should be used with caution in patients with renal impairment, and a reduced frequency and/or dose should be considered [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and Use in Specific Populations].
The effect of hepatic impairment on the pharmacokinetics of bupropion was characterized in 2 single-dose trials, one in subjects with alcoholic liver disease and one in subjects with mild to severe cirrhosis. The first trial demonstrated that the half-life of hydroxybupropion was significantly longer in 8 subjects with alcoholic liver disease than in 8 healthy volunteers (32±14 hours versus 21±5 hours, respectively). Although not statistically significant, the AUCs for bupropion and hydroxybupropion were more variable and tended to be greater (by 53% to 57%) in patients with alcoholic liver disease. The differences in half-life for bupropion and the other metabolites in the 2 groups were minimal.
The second trial demonstrated no statistically significant differences in the pharmacokinetics of bupropion and its active metabolites in 9 subjects with mild to moderate hepatic cirrhosis compared to 8 healthy volunteers. However, more variability was observed in some of the pharmacokinetic parameters for bupropion (AUC, Cmax, and Tmax) and its active metabolites (t½) in subjects with mild to moderate hepatic cirrhosis. In addition, in patients with severe hepatic cirrhosis, the bupropion Cmax and AUC were substantially increased (mean difference: by approximately 70% and 3-fold, respectively) and more variable when compared to values in healthy volunteers; the mean bupropion half-life was also longer (29 hours in subjects with severe hepatic cirrhosis vs. 19 hours in healthy subjects). For the metabolite hydroxybupropion, the mean Cmax was approximately 69% lower. For the combined amino-alcohol isomers threohydrobupropion and erythrohydrobupropion, the mean Cmax was approximately 31% lower. The mean AUC increased by about 1½-fold for hydroxybupropion and about 2½-fold for threo/erythrohydrobupropion. The median Tmax was observed 19 hours later for hydroxybupropion and 31 hours later for threo/erythrohydrobupropion. The mean half-lives for hydroxybupropion and threo/erythrohydrobupropion were increased 5-and 2-fold, respectively, in patients with severe hepatic cirrhosis compared to healthy volunteers [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and Use in Specific Populations].
Left Ventricular Dysfunction
During a chronic dosing study with bupropion in 14 depressed patients with left ventricular dysfunction (history of CHF or an enlarged heart on x-ray), there was no apparent effect on the pharmacokinetics of bupropion or its metabolites, compared to healthy volunteers.
The effects of age on the pharmacokinetics of bupropion and its metabolites have not been fully characterized, but an exploration of steady-state bupropion concentrations from several depression efficacy studies involving patients dosed in a range of 300 to 750 mg/day, on a 3 times daily schedule, revealed no relationship between age (18 to 83 years) and plasma concentration of bupropion. A single-dose pharmacokinetic study demonstrated that the disposition of bupropion and its metabolites in elderly subjects was similar to that in younger subjects. These data suggest that there is no prominent effect of age on bupropion concentration; however, another single-and multiple-dose pharmacokinetic study suggested that the elderly are at increased risk for accumulation of bupropion and its metabolites [see Use in Specific Populations].
A single-dose study involving 12 healthy male and 12 healthy female volunteers revealed no sex-related differences in the pharmacokinetic parameters of bupropion. In addition, pooled analysis of bupropion pharmacokinetic data from 90 healthy male and 90 healthy female volunteers revealed no sex-related differences in the peak plasma concentrations of bupropion. The mean systemic exposure (AUC) was approximately 13% higher in male volunteers compared to female volunteers.
The effects of cigarette smoking on the pharmacokinetics of bupropion hydrochloride were studied in 34 healthy male and female volunteers; 17 were chronic cigarette smokers and 17 were nonsmokers. Following oral administration of a single 150 mg dose of bupropion, there was no statistically significant difference in Cmax, half-life, Tmax, AUC, or clearance of bupropion or its active metabolites between smokers and nonsmokers.
Potential for Other Drugs to Affect WELLBUTRIN XL
In vitro studies indicate that bupropion is primarily metabolized to hydroxybupropion by CYP2B6. Therefore, the potential exists for drug interactions between WELLBUTRIN XL and drugs that are inhibitors or inducers of CYP2B6. In addition, in vitro studies suggest that paroxetine, sertraline, norfluoxetine, fluvoxamine, and nelfinavir inhibit the hydroxylation of bupropion.
Inhibitors Of CYP2B6
Ticlopidine and Clopidogrel: In a study in healthy male volunteers, clopidogrel 75 mg once daily or ticlopidine 250 mg twice daily increased exposures (Cmax and AUC) of bupropion by 40% and 60% for clopidogrel, by 38% and 85% for ticlopidine, respectively. The exposures of hydroxybupropion were decreased.
Prasugrel: In healthy subjects, prasugrel increased bupropion Cmax and AUC values by 14% and 18%, respectively, and decreased Cmax and AUC values of hydroxybupropion by 32% and 24%, respectively.
Cimetidine: Following oral administration of bupropion 300 mg with and without cimetidine 800 mg in 24 healthy young male volunteers, the pharmacokinetics of bupropion and hydroxybupropion were unaffected. However, there were 16% and 32% increases in the AUC and Cmax, respectively, of the combined moieties of threohydrobupropion and erythrohydrobupropion.
Citalopram: Citalopram did not affect the pharmacokinetics of bupropion and its three metabolites.
Inducers Of CYP2B6
Ritonavir and Lopinavir: In a healthy volunteer study, ritonavir 100 mg twice daily reduced the AUC and Cmax of bupropion by 22% and 21%, respectively. The exposure of the hydroxybupropion metabolite was decreased by 23%, the threohydrobupropion decreased by 38%, and the erythrohydrobupropion decreased by 48%. In a second healthy volunteer study, ritonavir 600 mg twice daily decreased the AUC and Cmax of bupropion by 66% and 62%, respectively. The exposure of the hydroxybupropion metabolite was decreased by 78%, the threohydrobupropion decreased by 50%, and the erythrohydrobupropion decreased by 68%.
In another healthy volunteer study, lopinavir 400 mg/ritonavir 100 mg twice daily decreased bupropion AUC and Cmax by 57%. The AUC and Cmax of hydroxybupropion metabolite were decreased by 50% and 31%, respectively.
Efavirenz: In a study of healthy volunteers, efavirenz 600 mg once daily for 2 weeks reduced the AUC and Cmax of bupropion by approximately 55% and 34%, respectively. The AUC of hydroxybupropion was unchanged, whereas Cmax of hydroxybupropion was increased by 50%.
Carbamazepine, Phenobarbital, Phenytoin: While not systematically studied, these drugs may induce the metabolism of bupropion.
Potential for WELLBUTRIN XL to Affect Other Drugs
Animal data indicated that bupropion may be an inducer of drug-metabolizing enzymes in humans. In a study of 8 healthy male volunteers, following a 14-day administration of bupropion 100 mg three times per day, there was no evidence of induction of its own metabolism. Nevertheless, there may be the potential for clinically important alterations of blood levels of coadministered drugs.
Drugs Metabolized By CYP2D6
In vitro, bupropion and hydroxybupropion are CYP2D6 inhibitors. In a clinical study of 15 male subjects (ages 19 to 35 years) who were extensive metabolizers of CYP2D6, bupropion given as 150 mg twice daily followed by a single dose of 50 mg desipramine increased the Cmax, AUC, and T½ of desipramine by an average of approximately 2-, 5-, and 2-fold, respectively. The effect was present for at least 7 days after the last dose of bupropion. Concomitant use of bupropion with other drugs metabolized by CYP2D6 has not been formally studied.
Citalopram: Although citalopram is not primarily metabolized by CYP2D6, in one study bupropion increased the Cmax and AUC of citalopram by 30% and 40%, respectively.
Lamotrigine: Multiple oral doses of bupropion had no statistically significant effects on the single-dose pharmacokinetics of lamotrigine in 12 healthy volunteers.
Major Depressive Disorder
The efficacy of bupropion in the treatment of major depressive disorder was established with the immediate-release formulation of bupropion hydrochloride in two 4-week, placebo-controlled trials in adult inpatients with MDD and in one 6-week, placebo-controlled trial in adult outpatients with MDD. In the first study, the bupropion dose range was 300 mg to 600 mg per day administered in 3 divided doses; 78% of patients were treated with doses of 300 mg to 450 mg per day. The trial demonstrated the efficacy of bupropion as measured by the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) total score, the HAMD depressed mood item (item 1), and the Clinical Global Impressions-Severity Scale (CGI-S). The second study included 2 fixed doses of bupropion (300 mg and 450 mg per day) and placebo. This trial demonstrated the efficacy of bupropion for only the 450 mg dose. The efficacy results were significant for the HAMD total score and the CGI-S severity score, but not for HAMD item 1. In the third study, outpatients were treated with bupropion 300 mg per day. This study demonstrated the efficacy of bupropion as measured by the HAMD total score, the HAMD item 1, the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), the CGI-S score, and the CGI-Improvement Scale (CGI-I) score.
A longer-term, placebo-controlled, randomized withdrawal trial demonstrated the efficacy of bupropion HCl sustained-release in the maintenance treatment of MDD. The trial included adult outpatients meeting DSM-IV criteria for MDD, recurrent type, who had responded during an 8-week open-label trial of bupropion 300 mg per day. Responders were randomized to continuation of bupropion 300 mg per day or placebo for up to 44 weeks of observation for relapse. Response during the open-label phase was defined as a CGI-Improvement Scale score of 1 (very much improved) or 2 (much improved) for each of the final 3 weeks. Relapse during the double-blind phase was defined as the investigator's judgment that drug treatment was needed for worsening depressive symptoms. Patients in the bupropion group experienced significantly lower relapse rates over the subsequent 44 weeks compared to those in the placebo group.
Although there are no independent trials demonstrating the efficacy of WELLBUTRIN XL in the acute treatment of MDD, studies have demonstrated similar bioavailability between the immediate-, sustained-, and extended-release formulations of bupropion HCl under steady-state conditions (i.e., the exposures [Cmax and AUC] for bupropion and its metabolites are similar among the 3 formulations).
Seasonal Affective Disorder
The efficacy of WELLBUTRIN XL in the prevention of seasonal major depressive episodes associated with SAD was established in 3 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials in adult outpatients with a history of MDD with an autumn-winter seasonal pattern (as defined by DSM-IV criteria). Bupropion treatment was initiated prior to the onset of symptoms in the autumn (September to November). Treatment was discontinued following a 2 week taper that began during the first week of spring (fourth week of March), resulting in a treatment duration of approximately 4 to 6 months for the majority of patients. Patients were randomized to treatment with WELLBUTRIN XL or placebo. The initial bupropion dose was 150 mg once daily for 1 week, followed by up-titration to 300 mg once daily. Patients who were deemed by the investigator to be unlikely or unable to tolerate 300 mg once daily were allowed to remain on, or had their dose reduced to, 150 mg once daily. The mean bupropion doses in the 3 trials ranged from 257 mg to 280 mg per day. Approximately 59% of patients continued in the study for 3 to 6 months; 26% continued for < 3 months, 15% continued for > 6 months.
To enter the trials, patients must have had a low level of depressive symptoms, as demonstrated by a score of < 7 on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale-17 (HAMD17) and a HAMD24 score of < 14. The primary efficacy measure was the Structured Interview Guide for the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, Seasonal Affective Disorders (SIGH-SAD), which is identical to the HAMD24. The SIGH-SAD consists of the HAMD17 plus 7 items specifically assessing core symptoms of seasonal affective disorder: social withdrawal, weight gain, increased appetite, increased eating, carbohydrate craving, hypersomnia, and fatigability. The primary efficacy endpoint was the onset of a seasonal major depressive episode. The criteria for defining an episode included: 1) the investigator's judgment that a major depressive episode had occurred or that the patient required intervention for depressive symptoms, or 2) a SIGH-SAD score of > 20 on 2 consecutive weeks. The primary analysis was a comparison of depression-free rates between the bupropion and placebo groups.
In these 3 trials, the percentage of patients who were depression-free (did not have an episode of MDD) at the end of treatment was significantly higher in the bupropion group than in the placebo group: 81.4% vs. 69.7%, 87.2% vs. 78.7%, and 84.0% vs. 69.0% for Trials 1, 2 and 3, respectively. For the 3 trials combined, the depression-free rate was 84.3% versus 72.0% in the bupropion and placebo group, respectively.
(bupropion hydrochloride) Extended-Release tablets
Read this Medication Guide carefully before you start using WELLBUTRIN XL and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. This information does not take the place of talking with your healthcare provider about your medical condition or your treatment. If you have any questions about WELLBUTRIN XL, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
IMPORTANT: Be sure to read the three sections of this Medication Guide. The first section is about the risk of suicidal thoughts and actions with antidepressant medicines; the second section is about the risk of changes in thinking and behavior, depression and suicidal thoughts or actions with medicines used to quit smoking; and the third section is entitled “What Other Important Information Should I Know About WELLBUTRIN XL?”
Antidepressant Medicines, Depression and Other Serious Mental Illnesses, and Suicidal Thoughts or Actions
This section of the Medication Guide is only about the risk of suicidal thoughts and actions with antidepressant medicines.
Talk to your healthcare provider or your family member's healthcare provider about:
- all risks and benefits of treatment with antidepressant medicines
- all treatment choices for depression or other serious mental illness
What is the most important information I should know about antidepressant medicines, depression and other serious mental illnesses, and suicidal thoughts or actions?
1. Antidepressant medicines may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teenagers, or young adults within the first few months of treatment.
2. Depression or other serious mental illnesses are the most important causes of suicidal thoughts or actions. Some people may have a particularly high risk of having suicidal thoughts or actions. These include people who have (or have a family history of) bipolar illness (also called manic-depressive illness) or suicidal thoughts or actions.
3. How can I watch for and try to prevent suicidal thoughts and actions in myself or a family member?
- Pay close attention to any changes, especially sudden changes in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. This is very important when an antidepressant medicine is started or when the dose is changed.
- Call your healthcare provider right away to report new or sudden changes in mood, behavior, thoughts, or feelings.
- Keep all follow-up visits with your healthcare provider as scheduled. Call the healthcare provider between visits as needed, especially if you have concerns about symptoms.
Call your healthcare provider right away if you or your family member has any of the following symptoms especially if they are new, worse, or worry you:
- thoughts about suicide or dying
- attempts to commit suicide
- new or worse depression
- new or worse anxiety
- feeling very agitated or restless
- panic attacks
- trouble sleeping (insomnia)
- new or worse irritability
- acting aggressive, being angry, or violent
- acting on dangerous impulses
- an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania)
- other unusual changes in behavior or mood
What else do I need to know about antidepressant medicines?
- Never stop an antidepressant medicine without first talking to a healthcare provider. Stopping an antidepressant medicine suddenly can cause other symptoms.
- Antidepressants are medicines used to treat depression and other illnesses. It is important to discuss all the risks of treating depression and also the risks of not treating it. Patients and their families or other caregivers should discuss all treatment choices with the healthcare provider, not just the use of antidepressants.
- Antidepressant medicines have other side effects. Talk to the healthcare provider about the side effects of the medicine prescribed for you or your family member.
- Antidepressant medicines can interact with other medicines. Know all of the medicines that you or your family member takes. Keep a list of all medicines to show the healthcare provider. Do not start new medicines without first checking with your healthcare provider.
- It is not known if WELLBUTRIN XL is safe and effective in children under the age of 18.
Quitting Smoking, Quit-Smoking Medications, Changes in Thinking and Behavior, Depression, and Suicidal Thoughts or Actions
This section of the Medication Guide is only about the risk of changes in thinking and behavior, depression and suicidal thoughts or actions with drugs used to quit smoking.
Although WELLBUTRIN XL is not a treatment for quitting smoking, it contains the same active ingredient (bupropion hydrochloride) as ZYBAN which is used to help patients quit smoking.
Some people have had changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depression, suicidal thoughts or actions while taking bupropion to help them quit smoking. These symptoms can develop during treatment with bupropion or after stopping treatment with bupropion.
If you, your family member, or your caregiver notice agitation, hostility, depression or changes in thinking or behavior that are not typical for you, or you have any of the following symptoms, stop taking bupropion and call your healthcare provider right away:
- thoughts about suicide or dying
- attempts to commit suicide
- new or worse depression
- new or worse anxiety
- panic attacks
- feeling very agitated or restless
- acting aggressive, being angry, or violent
- acting on dangerous impulses
- an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania)
- abnormal thoughts or sensations
- seeing or hearing things that are not there (hallucinations)
- feeling people are against you (paranoia)
- feeling confused
- other unusual changes in behavior or mood
When you try to quit smoking, with or without bupropion, you may have symptoms that may be due to nicotine withdrawal, including urge to smoke, depressed mood, trouble sleeping, irritability, frustration, anger, feeling anxious, difficulty concentrating, restlessness, decreased heart rate, and increased appetite or weight gain. Some people have even experienced suicidal thoughts when trying to quit smoking without medication. Sometimes quitting smoking can lead to worsening of mental health problems that you already have, such as depression.
Before taking bupropion, tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had depression or other mental illnesses. You should also tell your healthcare provider about any symptoms you had during other times you tried to quit smoking, with or without bupropion.
What Other Important Information Should I Know About WELLBUTRIN XL?
- Seizures: There is a chance of having a seizure
(convulsion, fit) with WELLBUTRIN XL, especially in people:
- with certain medical problems
- who take certain medicines
The chance of having seizures increases with higher doses of WELLBUTRIN XL. For more information, see the sections “Who should not take WELLBUTRIN XL?” and “What should I tell my healthcare provider before using WELLBUTRIN XL?” Tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions and all the medicines you take. Do not take any other medicines while you are taking WELLBUTRIN XL unless your healthcare provider has said it is okay to take them.
If you have a seizure while taking WELLBUTRIN XL, stop taking the tablets and call your healthcare provider right away. Do not take WELLBUTRIN XL again if you have a seizure.
- High blood pressure (hypertension): Some people get high blood pressure that can be severe, while taking WELLBUTRIN XL. The chance of high blood pressure may be higher if you also use nicotine replacement therapy (such as a nicotine patch) to help you stop smoking.
- Manic episodes: Some people may have periods of
mania while taking WELLBUTRIN XL, including:
- greatly increased energy
- severe trouble sleeping
- racing thoughts
- reckless behavior
- unusually grand ideas
- excessive happiness or irritability
- talking more or faster than usual
If you have any of the above symptoms of mania, call your healthcare provider.
- Unusual thoughts or behaviors: Some patients may have unusual thoughts or behaviors while taking WELLBUTRIN XL, including delusions (believe you are someone else), hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there), paranoia (feeling that people are against you), or feeling confused. If this happens to you, call your healthcare provider.
- Visual Problems
- eye pain
- changes in vision
- swelling or redness in or around the eye
Only some people are at risk for these problems. You may want to undergo an eye examination to see if you are at risk and receive preventative treatment if you are.
- Severe allergic reactions: Some people have severe allergic reactions to WELLBUTRIN XL. Stop taking WELLBUTRIN XL and call your healthcare provider right away if you get a rash, itching, hives, fever, swollen lymph glands, painful sores in the mouth or around the eyes, swelling of the lips or tongue, chest pain, or have trouble breathing. These could be signs of a serious allergic reaction.
What is WELLBUTRIN XL?
WELLBUTRIN XL is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with a certain type of depression called major depressive disorder and for the prevention of autumn-winter seasonal depression (seasonal affective disorder).
Who should not take WELLBUTRIN XL?
Do not take WELLBUTRIN XL if you:
- have or had a seizure disorder or epilepsy.
- have or had an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia.
- are taking any other medicines that contain bupropion, including ZYBAN (used to help people stop smoking), APLENZIN, FORFIVO XL, WELLBUTRIN or WELLBUTRIN SR. Bupropion is the same active ingredient that is in WELLBUTRIN XL.
- drink a lot of alcohol and abruptly stop drinking, or use medicines called sedatives (these make you sleepy) or benzodiazepines, or anti-seizure medicines, and you stop using them all of a sudden.
- take a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). Ask your
healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are not sure if you take an MAOI,
including the antibiotic linezolid.
- do not take an MAOI within 2 weeks of stopping WELLBUTRIN XL unless directed to do so by your healthcare provider.
- do not start WELLBUTRIN XL if you stopped taking an MAOI in the last 2 weeks unless directed to do so by your healthcare provider.
- are allergic to the active ingredient in WELLBUTRIN XL, bupropion hydrochloride, or to any of the inactive ingredients. See the end of this Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients in WELLBUTRIN XL.
What should I tell my healthcare provider before using WELLBUTRIN XL?
Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had depression, suicidal thoughts or actions, or other mental health problems. See “Antidepressant Medicines, Depression and Other Serious Mental Illnesses, and Suicidal Thoughts or Actions.”
Tell your healthcare provider about your other medical conditions including if you:
- have liver problems, especially cirrhosis of the liver.
- have kidney problems.
- have, or have had, an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia.
- have had a head injury.
- have had a seizure (convulsion, fit).
- have a tumor in your nervous system (brain or spine).
- have had a heart attack, heart problems, or high blood pressure.
- are a diabetic taking insulin or other medicines to control your blood sugar.
- drink alcohol.
- abuse prescription medicines or street drugs.
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
- are breastfeeding. WELLBUTRIN XL passes into your milk in small amounts.
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Many medicines increase your chances of having seizures or cause other serious side effects if you take them while you are taking WELLBUTRIN XL.
How should I take WELLBUTRIN XL?
- Take WELLBUTRIN XL exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
- Do not chew, cut, or crush WELLBUTRIN XL tablets.
- Take WELLBUTRIN XL at the same time each day.
- Take your doses of WELLBUTRIN XL at least 24 hours apart.
- You may take WELLBUTRIN XL with or without food.
- If you miss a dose, do not take an extra tablet to make up for the dose you missed. Wait and take your next tablet at the regular time. This is very important. Too much WELLBUTRIN XL can increase your chance of having a seizure.
- If you take too much WELLBUTRIN XL, or overdose, call your local emergency room or poison control center right away.
- Do not take any other medicines while using WELLBUTRIN XL unless your healthcare provider has told you it is okay.
- If you are taking WELLBUTRIN XL for the treatment of major depressive disorder, it may take several weeks for you to feel that WELLBUTRIN XL is working. Once you feel better, it is important to keep taking WELLBUTRIN XL exactly as directed by your healthcare provider. Call your healthcare provider if you do not feel WELLBUTRIN XL is working for you.
- If you are taking WELLBUTRIN XL for the prevention of seasonal major depressive episodes associated with seasonal affective disorder, it is important to keep taking WELLBUTRIN XL through the autumn-winter season, or as directed by your healthcare provider.
- Do not change your dose or stop taking WELLBUTRIN XL without talking with your healthcare provider first.
What should I avoid while taking WELLBUTRIN XL?
- Limit or avoid using alcohol during treatment with WELLBUTRIN XL. If you usually drink a lot of alcohol, talk with your healthcare provider before suddenly stopping. If you suddenly stop drinking alcohol, you may increase your chance of having seizures.
- Do not drive a car or use heavy machinery until you know how WELLBUTRIN XL affects you. WELLBUTRIN XL can impair your ability to do these things safely.
What are the possible side effects of WELLBUTRIN XL?
See “What is the most important information I should know about WELLBUTRIN XL?”
WELLBUTRIN XL may cause serious side effects, including:
The most common side effects of WELLBUTRIN XL include:
- Dry mouth
- Nausea and vomiting
- Trouble sleeping
- Shakiness (tremor)
- Fast heartbeat
- Heavy sweating
If you have nausea, take your medicine with food. If you have trouble sleeping, do not take your medicine too close to bedtime.
Tell your healthcare provider right away about any side effects that bother you.
These are not all the possible side effects of WELLBUTRIN XL. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
You may also report side effects to Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC at 1-800-321-4576.
How should I store WELLBUTRIN XL?
Store at 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted to 15°-30°C (59°-86°F) (see USP Controlled Room Temperature).
Keep WELLBUTRIN XL and all medicines out of the reach of children.
General information about WELLBUTRIN XL
- Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Medication Guide. Do not use WELLBUTRIN XL for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give WELLBUTRIN XL to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may harm them.
- If you take a urine drug screening test, WELLBUTRIN XL may make the test result positive for amphetamines. If you tell the person giving you the drug screening test that you are taking WELLBUTRIN XL, they can do a more specific drug screening test that should not have this problem.
This Medication Guide summarizes the most important information about WELLBUTRIN XL. If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare provider. You may ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for information about WELLBUTRIN XL that is written for healthcare professionals.
For more information about WELLBUTRIN XL, go to www.wellbutrinxl.com or call 1-800-321-4576.
What are the ingredients in WELLBUTRIN XL?
Active ingredient: bupropion hydrochloride
Inactive ingredients: ethylcellulose, glyceryl behenate, methacrylic acid copolymer dispersion, polyvinyl alcohol, polyethylene glycol, povidone, silicon dioxide, and triethyl citrate. The tablets are printed with edible black ink.
This Medication Guide has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.