Generic Name: Bupropion Hydrochloride
Brand Names: Aplenzin, Zyban, Budeprion
Drug Class: Norepinephrine–dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI), Anti-depressant, Anxiolytic
Similar Class Drugs: Amineptine, Fencamfamine
Available Dosage forms: Oral tablet 1
What is Bupropion?
Bupropion is an atypical anti-depressant used as a co-prescription drug for the treatment of depression in adults.2 It binds to enzymes responsible for the uptake of dopamine and norepinephrine and thus allows the accumulation of the two neurotransmitters in the synaptic clefts. The upregulation of both dopamine and norepinephrine results in the reduction of depressive symptoms. Unlike other typical anti-depressants, Bupropion lacks the affinity for serotonergic receptors. Therefore, the drug does not cause significant hypotensive, sedative, and gastrointestinal effects 2
It is also used:
– To treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD) 1
– As an adjunct for smoking cessation
– As a co-prescription drug with naltrexone for weight loss
– In combination with other anti-depressants for treatment-resistant depression
– Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) 1
How to use Bupropion?
The medication is available as a tablet with different dosages. Your doctor will prescribe you a dosage as per your condition, age, and medical history. When prescribed, the tablet is taken orally with water. It could be taken without food. In case of stomach upset, take it with food. Swallow the tablet without breaking or crushing it.
It is imperative to follow the doctor’s direction. Put a reminder to help you follow your dosage schedule. Stopping drug intake without a doctor’s approval will have serious side effects like seizures and worsening of your condition. It will take 2-3 weeks before you can see an improvement in your symptoms.1 You can avoid sleep problems by taking the tablet earlier and not at bedtime.
What are the side effects of Bupropion?
Common side effects with Bupropion administration include:
– GI problems – constipation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
– Dry mouth
– Blurred vision
– Raised blood pressure
– Weight gain
Adverse effects have been noted in the form of:
– Tachycardia (increased heart rate)
– Psychiatric effects – hallucinations, suicidal tendencies, anxiety, memory loss, etc
– CNS effects – loss of sleep, seizures
– Weight loss
Who should not use Bupropion?
The use of Bupropion is contraindicated in:
– Combination with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), methylene blue, and linezolid
– Epilepsy and in conditions that might predispose to seizures like stroke, head trauma, etc.
– Severe mood disorders and schizophrenia
- Huecker MR, Smiley A, Saadabadi A. Bupropion. [Updated 2021 Apr 19]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470212/
- Patel K, Allen S, Haque MN, Angelescu I, Baumeister D, Tracy DK. Bupropion: a systematic review and meta-analysis of effectiveness as an anti-depressant. Ther Adv Psychopharmacol. 2016;6(2):99-144. doi:10.1177/2045125316629071