While Wellbutrin SR (sustained-release) can be an effective medication for treating certain conditions, it is essential to be aware of potential risks associated with its use. Here is a brief overview of some of the risks:
- Suicidal Thoughts: Antidepressants, including Wellbutrin SR, may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts, especially in the early stages of treatment. This risk is higher in individuals under the age of 25. Close monitoring and communication with healthcare providers are crucial.
- Seizures: Wellbutrin SR may lower the seizure threshold, and the risk of seizures is dose-related. Individuals with a history of seizures or conditions that may increase the risk of seizures should use Wellbutrin SR with caution.
- Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to Wellbutrin SR, including rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing. Seek medical attention promptly if these symptoms occur.
- Interaction with Other Medications: Wellbutrin SR may interact with other medications. Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements, that you are taking.
- Mood Changes: Antidepressants, including Wellbutrin SR, may cause mood changes, including an increase in depressive symptoms or the emergence of manic episodes in individuals with bipolar disorder.
- Weight Loss: Weight loss is a common side effect of Wellbutrin SR, and in some cases, it may be unwanted. Monitoring weight changes and discussing concerns with a healthcare provider is important.
- Sexual Side Effects: Like many antidepressants, Wellbutrin SR may cause sexual side effects, such as changes in libido or difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection.
- Other Side Effects: Wellbutrin SR can cause other common side effects such as insomnia, dry mouth, headache, nausea, and dizziness.
It’s crucial for individuals considering or using Wellbutrin SR to have open and honest communication with their healthcare provider. The decision to use this medication should be based on a careful consideration of the potential risks and benefits, taking into account the individual’s medical history and current health status. Regular monitoring and follow-up appointments with healthcare providers are essential to manage and address any emerging issues. If you have concerns or experience side effects, consult with your healthcare provider promptly. Never adjust your dosage or discontinue the medication without professional guidance.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Wellbutrin SR (sustained-release) is a prescription medication that contains the active ingredient bupropion. It is primarily prescribed for the treatment of major depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that occurs at a specific time of year, usually in the winter.
Bupropion, the active ingredient in Wellbutrin SR, is an atypical antidepressant that works by affecting the balance of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, particularly norepinephrine and dopamine.
How should this medicine be used?
Here are some general guidelines on how Wellbutrin SR is typically used:
- Dosage: The dosage of Wellbutrin SR can vary depending on the individual and the condition being treated. It’s important to take the medication exactly as prescribed by the healthcare provider.
- Administration: Wellbutrin SR is usually taken orally, with or without food. The tablets are designed to be taken once or twice a day, depending on the formulation. The sustained-release formulation is designed to release the medication gradually over an extended period.
- Timing: It’s crucial to take Wellbutrin SR at the same time each day to maintain a consistent level of the medication in the bloodstream.
- Do not crush or chew: Wellbutrin SR tablets should be swallowed whole. They are formulated to release the medication slowly over time, and crushing or chewing the tablets can interfere with this mechanism.
- Duration of treatment: Continue taking Wellbutrin SR as directed by the healthcare provider, even if symptoms improve. Abruptly stopping the medication without medical guidance can lead to withdrawal symptoms.
- Follow-up: Regular follow-up appointments with the prescribing healthcare provider are essential to monitor progress, adjust the dosage if necessary, and address any concerns or side effects.
It’s important to note that individual responses to medication can vary, and the above information is a general guide. Always follow the specific instructions provided by the prescribing healthcare professional. If you have any questions or concerns about Wellbutrin SR or its use, it’s crucial to consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice.
Other uses for this medicine
In addition to its primary use in treating major depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder, Wellbutrin SR (sustained-release) may also be prescribed for other purposes. Some of these additional uses include:
- Smoking Cessation: Bupropion, the active ingredient in Wellbutrin SR, has been used as a smoking cessation aid. It can help reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with quitting smoking.
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): In some cases, healthcare providers may prescribe Wellbutrin SR as part of a treatment plan for ADHD, either as a standalone medication or in combination with other medications.
What special precautions should I follow?
Regarding special precautions for Wellbutrin SR, here are some important considerations:
- Suicidal Thoughts and Behavior: Antidepressant medications, including Wellbutrin SR, may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, especially in the early stages of treatment. Close monitoring by healthcare providers is essential, and any unusual changes in mood or behavior should be reported immediately.
- Seizures: Wellbutrin SR may lower the seizure threshold, and the risk of seizures is dose-related. Individuals with a history of seizures, eating disorders, or conditions that may increase the risk of seizures should use Wellbutrin SR with caution. The healthcare provider will weigh the potential risks and benefits before prescribing the medication.
- Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to Wellbutrin SR. If there are signs of an allergic reaction, such as rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention promptly.
- Interaction with Other Medications: Wellbutrin SR may interact with other medications, including other antidepressants, antipsychotics, and certain medications used to treat seizures. Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements, that you are taking.
- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: The use of Wellbutrin SR during pregnancy and breastfeeding should be discussed with a healthcare provider. The potential risks and benefits need to be carefully evaluated.
- Alcohol Consumption: Limit alcohol intake while taking Wellbutrin SR, as excessive alcohol use can increase the risk of seizures.
It’s crucial to follow the prescribed dosage and instructions provided by the healthcare provider and to communicate openly about any concerns or side effects experienced during the course of treatment. Never self-adjust the dosage or stop taking Wellbutrin SR without consulting a healthcare professional.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
If you forget to take a dose of Wellbutrin SR, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s close to the time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you miss a dose of Wellbutrin SR:
- Take It as Soon as Possible: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule.
- Don’t Double Up: Do not double up on doses to make up for a missed one. Taking more than the prescribed amount can increase the risk of side effects.
- Notify Healthcare Provider: If you consistently forget doses, or if you are unsure about what to do, contact your healthcare provider for guidance.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Wellbutrin SR (sustained-release), like any medication, may cause side effects. It’s important to note that not everyone will experience these side effects, and some individuals may experience side effects that are not listed here. If you are prescribed Wellbutrin SR, your healthcare provider will discuss the potential risks and benefits with you. Here are some common and less common side effects associated with Wellbutrin SR:
Common Side Effects:
- Insomnia or Sleep Disturbances: Some individuals may experience difficulty sleeping or changes in sleep patterns.
- Dry Mouth: Wellbutrin SR may cause a dry feeling in the mouth.
- Headache: Headaches are a common side effect of Wellbutrin SR.
- Nausea or Upset Stomach: Some people may experience gastrointestinal discomfort, including nausea or an upset stomach.
- Weight Loss: Wellbutrin SR is associated with weight loss in some individuals.
Less Common Side Effects:
- Increased Heart Rate: Some people may experience an increase in heart rate or palpitations.
- Tremors or Shaking: Fine tremors or shaking of the hands can occur.
- Dizziness: Wellbutrin SR may cause dizziness in some individuals.
- Sweating: Excessive sweating, especially at night, is a less common side effect.
- Agitation or Restlessness: Some individuals may feel more agitated or restless than usual.
Serious Side Effects (Seek Medical Attention):
- Seizures: Wellbutrin SR may lower the seizure threshold, especially at higher doses. Seek medical attention if a seizure occurs.
- Allergic Reactions: Serious allergic reactions are rare but can occur. Seek medical attention if you experience symptoms such as rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.
- Mood Changes: Antidepressants, including Wellbutrin SR, may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, especially in the early stages of treatment. Seek prompt medical attention if you experience changes in mood or behavior.
It’s important to report any side effects to your healthcare provider. Additionally, if you experience severe or persistent side effects, consult with your healthcare provider promptly. They may adjust the dosage or recommend alternative treatments based on your individual response to the medication. Do not stop taking Wellbutrin SR without consulting your healthcare provider, as abruptly discontinuing the medication may lead to withdrawal symptoms or a worsening of depressive symptoms.
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Storage and Disposal of Wellbutrin SR:
- Storage: Keep Wellbutrin SR in its original container at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Avoid storing it in the bathroom. Keep the medication out of reach of children and pets.
- Disposal: Dispose of unused or expired medication properly. Do not flush medications down the toilet unless instructed to do so. Consult with your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for proper disposal guidelines.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of an overdose or emergency, contact your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or seek emergency medical attention immediately. Overdose symptoms may include seizures, hallucinations, loss of consciousness, rapid or irregular heartbeat, and severe dizziness.
What other information should I know?
- Regular Monitoring: Regularly attend follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider for monitoring and adjustment of the treatment plan.
- Abrupt Discontinuation: Do not stop taking Wellbutrin SR abruptly without consulting your healthcare provider. Abrupt discontinuation may lead to withdrawal symptoms.
- Inform Healthcare Providers: Inform all healthcare providers (including dentists and surgeons) about all the medications, supplements, and over-the-counter drugs you are taking, as Wellbutrin SR may interact with other substances.
- Alcohol and Other Substances: Limit alcohol consumption while taking Wellbutrin SR, as excessive alcohol use can increase the risk of seizures. Discuss the use of other substances with your healthcare provider.
- Driving and Machinery: Be cautious when operating machinery or driving until you know how Wellbutrin SR affects you. It may cause dizziness or affect alertness.
- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Inform your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. The risks and benefits of using Wellbutrin SR during pregnancy or breastfeeding should be discussed.
- Allergic Reactions: If you develop symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention promptly.
- Medical Alert Bracelet: If you have a history of seizures, wearing a medical alert bracelet may be advisable.
Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and ask any questions you may have about Wellbutrin SR. If you experience any unusual or severe side effects, contact your healthcare provider promptly. They can provide guidance based on your individual health profile.