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Product Overview

Bupropion SR (generic Wellbutrin SR)

  • What is bupropion SR?
    Bupropion SR (generic Wellbutrin SR) is a prescription medication used to treat depression. Bupropion can also effectively treat symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a condition characterized by depression that happens around the same time every year, often in winter. It has also been used to help patients quit smoking.

    While bupropion is classified as an antidepressant, it is uniquely tolerated in the body. This results in milder, more manageable side effects. Bupropion carries many of the same benefits as other antidepressants but is less likely to cause adverse effects.

    Bupropion SR is a sustained-release tablet. The sustained-release dosage form releases the medication more gradually than the standard form. This allows for a constant drug concentration for a specific period of time with minimum side effects.

  • What are the most common side effects of bupropion SR?
    While adverse reactions to bupropion are uncommon, some patients who take the drug may experience mild side effects, including dry mouth, nausea, insomnia, dizziness, pharyngitis, abdominal pain, agitation, anxiety, tremor, palpitation, sweating, tinnitus, myalgia, anorexia, urinary frequency, and rash.

    Rare, more serious adverse events have also been known to occur. If you are concerned that bupropion SR may be causing you to experience any number of adverse side effects, contact your doctor or seek emergency care.

    Some antidepressants have shown an increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults compared to placebo. 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.

    If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or dial 911.

    This is not a complete list of side effects. If you are concerned about additional side effects, please contact your provider directly.

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Do you have more questions?

Frequently asked questions about Bupropion

What is bupropion?

Bupropion - often sold under the brand name Wellbutrin - is a prescription medication used to treat depression. Bupropion can also effectively treat symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a condition characterized by depression that happens around the same time every year, often in winter. It has also been used to help patients quit smoking.

While bupropion is classified as an antidepressant, it is uniquely tolerated in the body. This results in milder, more manageable side effects. Bupropion carries many of the same benefits as other antidepressants but is less likely to cause adverse effects.

What is bupropion SR and bupropion XL?

Bupropion SR and bupropion XL (generic Wellbutrin SR and Wellbutrin XL) are both antidepressants, or norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs). They both prevent the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine from being reabsorbed into nerve cells, resulting in higher levels of these substances in the brain. It has also been used by doctors to help patients quit smoking. While similar in name, these two drugs should not be used interchangeably. The main difference between bupropion SR and bupropion XL is that bupropion SR is a sustained-release drug, while bupropion XL is an extended-release drug. Because the XL version is delivered more slowly into your body, it lasts longer in your system. This may result in fewer adverse effects and a reduction in the number of times the medication must be taken. Talk to your doctor directly about which bupropion prescription is right for you.

What is bupropion used to treat?

Bupropion is commonly prescribed to treat depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder. It may also be prescribed, along with nicotine replacement therapy, to help patients quit smoking.

The CDC estimates that almost 19% of Americans exhibited some symptoms of depression in 2019. Often caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, depression is characterized by a persistently depressed mood and a loss of interest in activities. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is a type of depression that occurs around the same time (usually around the fall and winter) every year. Seasonal Affective Disorder can result in feelings of hopelessness, fatigue, and social withdrawal. Bupropion may be prescribed as a long-term treatment of these conditions, along with other medication and therapy.

How does bupropion work?

While bupropion’s effect on the brain is not fully understood, it works as a dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (DNRI). Dopamine and norepinephrine are two chemicals produced naturally in the brain that are responsible for stabilizing your mood and telling your brain to feel happy/ Sometimes, though, your brain reabsorbs these chemicals too quickly after they are produced, inhibiting them from doing their job and making you feel good. This process is called “reuptake.” Bupropion is a reuptake inhibitor, meaning it keeps the body from absorbing these chemicals too quickly. This can improve mood and stimulate the “reward pathways” that can help alleviate symptoms of depression and SAD.

These same effects play a part in bupropion’s use as an anti-smoking aid. By blocking dopamine reuptake in the brain, bupropion helps reduce craving and withdrawal symptoms that may occur as you stop smoking. Because bupropion elongates feelings of motivation and reward by blocking dopamine reuptake, the urge to smoke is reduced. This, along with nicotine replacement therapy, has been shown to be very effective in helping patients quit smoking.

What are the most common side effects of bupropion?

Bupropion is quickly metabolized and is easily tolerable for most patients. Side effects are generally more mild and manageable than most antidepressant medications. There are some common side effects, however, that you may still encounter. These may include:

Dry mouth Nausea, insomnia Dizziness Pharyngitis Abdominal pain Agitation Anxiety Tremor Palpitation Sweating Tinnitus Myalgia Anorexia Urinary frequency Rash

In some cases, bupropion may cause more severe side effects. If the effects above do not go away after a few days, or if adverse effects get worse, talk to your doctor right away. Severe side effects of bupropion may include:

Seizure Hallucination Suicidal thoughts Rapid or irregular heartbeat Confusion

WARNING: In short-term studies of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders, antidepressants showed an increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults compared to placebo. 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.

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or 911.

This is not a complete list of side effects of bupropion. For more information on adverse effects you may experience, please visit the National Institutes of Health’s DailyMed page on bupropion.

How long does it take for bupropion to work?

Bupropion is quickly metabolized in the body and will start to work almost immediately after it is taken. That being said, it may take 1-2 weeks before you begin to notice its effects. After a week or two, you should be able to notice improved sleep, appetite, and energy levels. After 6-8 weeks, you should be able to notice an improvement in mood and interest in activities.

What is the typical starting dose of bupropion?

Bupropion is commonly prescribed to adults at a 150 mg per day dose to start with. This dosage usually comes as an oral tablet meant to be taken once a day, usually in the morning, with or without food. Depending on your body’s response to the initial dosage, your doctors may increase your dosage to 300 mg taken once daily. Additionally, you may be prescribed an extended-release version of bupropion that is absorbed in the body more slowly. This makes the effects of bupropion longer-lasting, and may also result in fewer side effects.

Talk to your doctor about what form of bupropion is right for you. In addition, be sure to let your doctor know about any medication you may be taking prior to starting treatment with bupropion. While side effects of bupropion are generally mild, it may interact with other medication, causing serious side effects.

Can I get bupropion online?

Yep! With SesameRx, you can get medication delivered right to your door starting at just $5 per month - without insurance. Our fully-integrated prescription service lets your doctor write you a prescription (or refill an existing one) during your virtual or in-person visit. That way, you can focus on getting better and not worry about how and when you’ll get your prescription.

Please note that all prescriptions are at the discretion of your provider.