side effects, dosage, reviews, how to take & discontinue, uses, pros & cons, and more
Table of Contents (hide)
- 1. Brand & Generic Names; Drug Class
- 2. What is Wellbutrin (bupropion) Used For?
- 3. When Will Wellbutrin (bupropion) Start Working?
- 4. Will Wellbutrin Really Work for What You Have?
- 5. How to Take Wellbutrin (bupropion)
- 6. How to Stop Taking Wellbutrin (bupropion)
- 7. Wellbutrin (bupropion) Pros and Cons
- 8. Wellbutrin (bupropion) Side Effects
- 9. What You Really Need to be Careful About with Wellbutrin (bupropion)
- 10. Wellbutrin (bupropion) Half-Life & How Long Until Wellbutrin Clears Your System
- 11. How Wellbutrin (bupropion) Works
- 12. Wellbutrin (bupropion) Ratings, Reviews, Comments, PI Sheet, and More
|US brand name: Wellbutrin|
|Generic name: bupropion|
|What is Wellbutrin (bupropion)?|
|Wellbutrin (bupropion) is in the Antidepressants class of drugs.|
Usually two-three weeks. Like all antidepressants, especially reuptake inhibitors, you should give Wellbutrin up to a month, maybe six weeks, before giving up, barring any really nasty side effects or you can tell nothing positive is happening at all. Meds that work on dopamine tend to act quickly, so Wellbutrin (bupropion) could start having positive results in a few days.
Pretty freaking good. The side effects or something else may make it suck too much to keep taking it, or there’s too much potential for trouble in the first place, but Wellbutrin (bupropion) is one of those meds that usually work. Sometimes a little too well.
The initial dose of Wellbutrin SR (bupropion) is 150mg in the morning. If that is tolerated the target dose of 300mg a day may be tried as early as four days later, split into two 150mg doses with at least eight hours between each dose. But you really should wait at least a week. If after four weeks there is no improvement you may opt to go up to 400mg a day, split into two 200 mg doses. The initial dose of the older immediate release flavor of Wellbutrin (bupropion) is 100 mg a day, which may be increased by 100 mg a day with a titration period of at least three days. With the immediate release flavor you can really play around with things, dosing you in 75–150 mg increments three to four times a day with a minimum of four hours between each dose up to a maximum of 450 mg a day. The dosage for the XL form follows that of the SR form, except that it is taken once a day.
I really think you should wait at least seven-eight days (see steady state below) before going up to the next higher dosage. The wacky metabolism of Wellbutrin (bupropion), and the fact that it’s one of the metabolites that works on norepinephrine tells me that you should wait until things settle down in your system first.
Based on its complex pharmacokinetics, your doctor should be recommending that you reduce your dosage by 100–150mg a day (for the more popular SR and XL forms, 75mg for the immediate release form), every week if you need to stop taking Wellbutrin, if not more slowly than that. There have been reports of more than the usual problems that come from stopping any med abruptly, or just too quickly.
Low chance of sexual side effects, unless you consider making you hornier with or without premature/spontaneous orgasms sexual side effects. None of the weight gain associated with SSRIs & SNRIs. Often a very effective and relatively fast-acting antidepressant, as dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibition are frequently part of, if not the answer for a lot of people.
Wellbutrin can be used recreationally, so it can be abused. It has to be avoided by anyone with an eating disorder or other addictive behaviors. The abuse potential is a serious problem, as Wellbutrin is one of the few modern antidepressants that can kill you if you take too much.
Bupropion hydrochloride is also the active ingredient in Zyban, a drug used to quit smoking. Depending on your HMO schedule or your health insurance, you may want to get a prescription for Zyban instead of Wellbutrin. Why? Sometimes it’s cheaper. Sometimes you may not have any mental health coverage on your health insurance but you can get drugs to quit smoking. And some insurance companies have a points system like car insurance. If you get too crazy, your rates go way up, but if you do something positive like try to quit smoking, your rates go down. So check with the person who works in your doctor’s office about the rates and the system, and see if you need to game the system with a Zyban prescription instead of a Wellbutrin SR prescription. It’s the same damn drug as the sustained release form of Wellbutrin. The only issues will be with dosages. You can’t take as much Zyban as you can Wellbutrin.
Right now: Being marketed by Glaxo sales reps, and Dr. Drew, as the “happy, horny, skinny pill.”
In-Depth Pros & Cons
Detailed Wellbutrin Side Effects. TMI at times.
Wellbutrin itself: 12–30 hours, each of its metabolites:15–25, 23–43 and 24–50 hours. Clearance: 4–12 days.
bupropion Pharmacokinetics Information Overload
Half-life is the average time it takes for you to process half of the drug’s active ingredient. If a drug has a half-life of around 24 hours and you take a dose of 100mg, you’ll have roughly the equivalent a 50mg dose after one day, a 25mg dose after two days, and so on. The rule of thumb is: multiply the half-life by five and you get how long it is for the dose you took to be cleared from your bloodstream, so there’s nothing swimming around to attach itself to your brain and start doing stuff1. That’s called “plasma clearance.” Complete clearance is a complex equation based on a lot of factors which may or may not: be published in the PI sheet, include personal data like your weight, or even completely figured out by corporate and independent researchers. It usually winds up being 2–5 days after plasma clearance no matter what2, but can take weeks. Sometimes a drug will clear from your brain and other organs before it clears from your blood. If we’ve found the complete clearance, or how to calculate it if it requires things like your weight and what your piss looks like, you’ll find that on the pharmacokinetics page.
the current best guess at any rate
Wellbutrin (bupropion) is a norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor.
More about How Wellbutrin Works than You Probably Ever Wanted to Know. AKA bupropion mechanism/method of action, or pharmacodynamics.
While Wellbutrin (bupropion) has the potential make you happy, horny, skinny, and quit smoking, it is only consistent at making you not depressed - which probably counts as happy - and helping you to stop smoking, while being unlikely to make you gain weight or affect your libido. Weight loss and treating sexual dysfunction are off-label uses of Wellbutrin and, like most off-label uses, you only want to try it if the regular treatments don’t work, because the odds aren’t as good or the side effects are worse. Or both.
Really, Dr. Drew… oh, wait, Dr. Drew just took GSK’s money and told everyone the facts as they were known - like Wellbutrin is less likely to cause weight gain or sexual side effects than SSRIs - except for that part about taking a shitload of money from GSK. It was another doctor, who wasn’t as famous, who was repeating what the pharm reps were telling him, that Wellbutrin is the happy, horny, skinny pill. Maybe. If you don’t need it to keep from falling to the floor in a fetal position and sobbing for hours if the newspaper reprinted yesterday’s sudoku. They should have known better than that.
There’s more Wellbutrin news. The FDA pulled the approval of Teva/Impax 300 mg Budeprion XL.3 I have more information about that on the Wellbutrin Generic Availability page, the Expanded Comments page, and in a topic about this on the Crazy Talk forum.
An overall zero-to-five rating is absolutely useless information regarding medications. It is little more than a purely emotional and subjective value judgment on a med that has no bearing on how effective a drug is or, more importantly, if Wellbutrin (bupropion) is the right drug for you. So why do I have it? Mainly because it’s cathartic for anyone who is taking or has taken Wellbutrin (bupropion)4. Love it? Hate it? Here’s your chance to let everyone know. You don’t need to be a forum member or anything like that. You get all of one vote which can’t be changed, so make sure it’s what you want.
Get all judgmental about Wellbutrin (bupropion)
Rating 4.0 out of 5 from 233 criticisms
Vote Distribution: 11 – 8 – 10 – 14 – 90 – 100
Extended Comments As if I didn’t go on long enough here.
It’s always a good idea to check for drug-drug interactions yourself. Just because most people in the crazy meds business know about really important interactions (e.g. MAOIs and a lot of stuff, warfarin and everything on the planet) doesn’t mean the person who prescribed your meds told you about them, or the pharmacist has all the meds you take at their fingertips like they’re supposed to. Or they have the time to do their jobs properly when not dealing with complete idiots or playing Angry Farmers on the Faecesbooks.
If you have any questions about Wellbutrin (bupropion), please see the Crazy Meds’ Wellbutrin (bupropion) discussion board. I rarely answer questions about meds via e-mail.1 Based on Julien's calculations from A Primer of Drug Action, the half-life multiplied by five is the generally accepted estimate of how long it takes a single dose of any given drug to be eliminated from the blood stream/plasma of someone with a normal metabolism. That's also the rough estimate for steady stage if they can't get, or won't provide a number for that.
2 For crazy meds. I have no idea what the average complete clearance is for other types of medications. For all I know there are drugs that utterly vanish from your system in under five passes, and others that won't let go of your squishy bits for years after you stop taking them.
3 Technically the FDA asked Teva & Impax to voluntarily remove Budeprion XL from the market, much like the way the IRS assists us in voluntary compliance with tax code. Go ahead, search irs.gov for the phrase "promote voluntary compliance", with or without quotes. I feel so much better about myself knowing I've been volunteering for my country.
4 At some point I may have multiple one-to-ten ratings for individual aspects of medications, such as efficacy and side effects. That could be potentially useful.
5 These include: Canada's Product Monographs (PM), New Zealand's Medicine Data Sheets (MDS), the EU's European Public Assessment Reports (EPAR), and the Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC) used in Britain, Ireland, and many other places.
|Date created 27 March 2011 at 14:50:23||Page Author: JerodPoore||Last modified on Wednesday, 04 December, 2013 at 09:02:22 by some med critic.|
Wellbutrin is a trademark of someone else. Look on the the PI sheet or ask Google who the owner is. The way pharmaceutical companies buy each other and swap products like Monopoly™ real estate, the ownership of the trademark may have changed without my noticing.
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1 While there are plenty of books to help you with hypochondria, for some reason there’s not much in the way of websites. Then again, staying off of the Internet is a large part of curing/managing the disorder.
2 Remember kids, Microsloth operating systems are like TOS Star Trek movies with in that every other one sucks way, way more. With TOS Star Trek movies you don’t want to bother watching the odd-numbered ones. With Microsloth OS you don’t want to buy and install the even-numbered ones. Anyone who remembers ME and Vista knows what I mean.
3 Have I mentioned how open source operating systems for commercial applications is one of the dumbest ideas in the history of dumb ideas?
[begin rant] I rent a dedicated server for Crazy Meds. It’s sitting on a rack somewhere in Southern California along with a bunch of other servers that other people have rented. The hardware is identical, but no two machines have exactly the same operating systems. I don’t even need to see what is on any of the others to know this. If somebody got their server at the exact same time, with the exact same features as I did, I’m confident that there would be noticeable differences in some aspects of the operating systems. So what does this mean? For one thing it means that no two computers in the same office of a single company have the same operating system, and the techs can spend hours figuring out what the fuck the problem could be based on that alone. It also means that application software like IP board that runs the forum here has to have so many fucking user-configurable bells and whistles that even when I read the manual I can’t find every setting, or every location that every flag needs to be set in order for a feature to run the way I want it to run. And in the real world it means you can get an MBA not only with an emphasis on resource planning, but with an emphasis on using SAP - a piece of software so complex there are now college programs on how to use it. You might think, “But don’t people learn how to use Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator in college?” Sure, in order to create stuff. And in a way you’re creating stuff with SAP. But do you get a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis on Photoshop?
Back in the Big Iron Age the operating systems were proprietary, and every computer that took up an entire room with a raised floor and HVAC system, and had less storage and processing power than an iPhone, had the same operating system as every other one, give or take a release level. But when a company bought application software like SAP, they also got the source code, which was usually documented and written in a way to make it easy to modify the hell out of it. Why? Because accounting principles may be the same the world over, and tax laws the same across each country and state, but no two companies have the same format for their reports, invoices, purchase orders and so forth. Standards existed and were universally ignored. If something went wrong it went wrong the same way for everyone, and was easy to track down. People didn’t need to take a college course to learn how to use a piece of software.
I’m not against the open source concept entirely. Back then all the programmers read the same magazines, so we all had the same homebrew utilities. We even had a forerunner of QR Code to scan the longer source code. Software vendors and computer manufacturers sponsored conventions so we could, among other things, swap recipes for such add-ons and utilities. While those things would make our lives easier, they had nothing to do with critical functions of the operating system. Unless badly implemented they would rarely cause key application software to crash and burn. Whereas today, with open source everything, who the hell knows what could be responsible some part of a system failing. [/end rant]