Bupropion is a smoking cessation aid that can help reduce nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms. For smoking cessation, bupropion is prescribed for a 12-week course.Important safety information
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Bupropion medical information
Bupropion is a smoking cessation aid that can help reduce nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms. For smoking cessation, bupropion is prescribed for a 12-week course. Learn more about bupropion, its potential benefits, and its potential side effects. Bupropion Medical Facts
How does it work?
The action of bupropion is not fully understood, but we know bupropion blocks the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine from being reabsorbed, which means they hang around and work longer.
Bupropion seems to affect these these two important neurotransmitters in a way that is similar to nicotine, which can decrease your withdrawal symptoms when you are trying to quit. Bupropion also weakly blocks the nicotine receptor (the place on a nerve cell where a chemical lands to transmit its message), which makes smoking less appealing. This helps prevent relapse when former smokers are trying to make their new habit stick.
How is it used?
Bupropion should be started at least one week before you quit smoking. Bupropion should be taken once daily for the first 3 days, to allow your body to adjust. It should then taken twice daily for the 12 weeks.
What are the possible side effects?
The most common side effects of bupropion include: agitation, dry mouth, insomnia, headache/migraine, nausea/vomiting, constipation, tremor, dizziness, excessive sweating, blurred vision, tachycardia (rapid heart rate), confusion, rash, hostility, cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), and auditory disturbance.
Bupropion is generally very safe, but all medicines have the potential for causing side effects. Rarely, these can be serious, and you need to know about them.
Bupropion has a black box warning about a potential for increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. This increased risk is seen in patients up to age 24. It’s important to remember that bupropion is primarily used as an antidepressant, and people with depression are at higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. However, it’s possible that bupropion taken for other reasons, like smoking cessation, might also have this increased risk.
Learn more about bupropion, its potential benefits, and its potential side effects here.
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IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
What are the most important things I need to know about Bupropion SR?
BOXED WARNING: SUICIDAL THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIORS SUICIDALITY AND ANTIDEPRESSANT DRUGS: Antidepressants, including bupropion, increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term trials. This occurred in people up to and including age 24. These trials did not show an increase in the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior with antidepressants use in subjects aged 65 and older. In patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy, including bupropion, 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.
Neuropsychiatric Adverse Events During Smoking Cessation: Serious neuropsychiatric adverse events have been reported in patients taking bupropion SR for smoking cessation. These postmarketing reports have included changes in mood (including depression and mania), psychosis, hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, homicidal thoughts, aggression, hostility, agitation, anxiety, and panic, as well as suicidal thoughts, suicide attempt, and completed suicide. Discontinue bupropion SR and contact a healthcare provider if you experience any of these.
Antidepressant treatment can precipitate a manic, mixed, or hypomanic manic episode. Tell your doctor if you have ever had a manic episode or been diagnosed with bipolar disorder or manic depression before you start taking bupropion as this medication will not likely be appropriate for you.
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 Bupropion SR if these reactions occur.
Bupropion SR is contraindicated in patients with seizure disorder.
Bupropion SR 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 Bupropion SR.
Bupropion SR is contraindicated in patients undergoing abrupt discontinuation of alcohol, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and antiepileptic drugs.
The use of MAOIs (intended to treat psychiatric disorders) concomitantly with Bupropion SR or within 14 days of discontinuing treatment with Bupropion SR is contraindicated. There is an increased risk of hypertensive reactions when Bupropion SR is used concomitantly with MAOIs. The use of Bupropion SR within 14 days of discontinuing treatment with an MAOI is also contraindicated. Starting Bupropion SR in a patient treated with reversible MAOIs such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue is contraindicated.
Bupropion SR is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to bupropion or other ingredients of Bupropion SR. Severe allergic reaction and skin reactions have been reported.
Bupropion SR can cause seizures. The risk of seizures is dose-related. The dose should not exceed 300 mg once daily. Increase the dose gradually. Discontinue Bupropion SR, contact a healthcare provider, and do not restart treatment if you experiences a seizure.
Treatment with Bupropion SR can result in elevated blood pressure and hypertension. You should check your blood pressure prior to starting bupropion SR for smoking cessation. Do not start bupropion SR for smoking cessation if you currently have untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure. In these cases, you should seek a consultation with a healthcare provider.
The pupillary dilation that occurs following use of many antidepressant drugs including Bupropion SR may trigger an angle closure attack (Angle-Closure Glaucoma) in susceptible patients.
What are the most common side effects of Bupropion SR?
The following adverse reactions occurred in at least 5% of patients treated with bupropion SR at a rate at least twice the placebo rate:
- Dry mouth
- Abdominal pain
- Urinary frequency
When should I call my primary provider?
Call your doctor right away if:
- You experience a seizure
- You have suicidal thoughts
- You develop a rash
- You have abnormal thoughts that are unusual for you
- You experience agitation
- Your mood worsens
- You develop eye pain or abnormal vision
What should I tell my Zero-affiliated provider before taking bupropion SR?
Tell your Zero-affiliated provider all of the medications you are currently taking, if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, or if you have a history of:
- Suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide
- Recent head injury
- Brain tumor or abnormal blood vessels in the brain
- Anorexia or bulimia
- Mental illness in you or your family
- Diabetes requiring medication
- Recent heart attack, congestive heart failure, or unstable heart disease
- Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia)
- Slow heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Weight loss
- Tourette’s Syndrome
- Drug addiction
- Allergy or negative reaction to bupropion or any of its components, or to bupropion preparations under different names or any of their components (e.g., Aplenzin, Buproban, Forfivo XL, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, Bupropion SR, Bupropion SR Advantage Pack, Budeprion XL)
How should I take Bupropion SR?
- Start Bupropion SR before you stop smoking to give Bupropion SR time to build up in your body.
- It takes about 1 week for Bupropion SR to start working.
- Pick a date to stop smoking that is during the second week you are taking Bupropion SR.
- Take Bupropion SR exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
- Do not change your dose or stop taking Bupropion SR without talking with your healthcare provider first.
- Bupropion SR is usually taken for 7 to 12 weeks. Your healthcare provider may decide to prescribe Bupropion SR for longer than 12 weeks to help you stop smoking.
- Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.
- Swallow Bupropion SR tablets whole. Do not chew, cut, or crush Bupropion SR tablets. If you do, the medicine will be released into your body too quickly. If this happens you may be more likely to get side effects including seizures.
- Tell your healthcare provider if you cannot swallow tablets.
- Bupropion SR tablets may have an odor. This is normal.
- Take your doses of Bupropion SR at least 8 hours apart.
- You may take Bupropion SR with or without food.
- It is not dangerous to smoke and take Bupropion SR at the same time. But, you will lower your chance of breaking your smoking habit if you smoke after the date you set to stop smoking.
- You may use Bupropion SR and nicotine patches (a type of nicotine replacement therapy) at the same time, following the precautions below.
- You should only use Bupropion SR and nicotine patches together under the care of your healthcare provider. Using Bupropion SR and nicotine patches together may raise your blood pressure, and sometimes this can be severe.
- Tell your healthcare provider if you plan to use nicotine patches. Your healthcare provider should check your blood pressure regularly if you use nicotine patches with Bupropion SR to help you quit smoking.
- If you miss a dose, do not take an extra dose to make up for the dose you missed. Wait and take your next dose at the regular time. This is very important. Too much Bupropion SR can increase your chance of having a seizure.
- If you take too much Bupropion SR, or overdose, call your local emergency room or poison control center right away.
- Do not take any other medicines while taking Bupropion SR unless your healthcare provider has told you it is okay.
What should I avoid while taking Bupropion SR?
- Limit or avoid using alcohol during treatment with Bupropion SR. 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 Bupropion SR affects you. Bupropion SR can affect your ability to do these things safely.
What is the FDA-approved use of Bupropion SR?
Frequently Asked Questions
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With that being said, multicomponent therapy has been shown to be superior for successful quitting compared to single component therapy.
This medication may be covered by insurance though (inclusive of Medicaid and Medicare) when sold by other providers.
Other ways to quit