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Bupropion

Last updated on 07/07/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions   |   Tips   |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Bupropion

ALTERNATIVE NAME: Amfebutamone

CHINESE NAME: 安非他酮

BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Wellbutrin

DRUG CLASS: Antidepressants

SUB CLASS: Norepinephrine–dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs)

USED FOR: Major depression, Smoking cessation

AVAILABLE DOSAGE FORMS:
– 150mg, 300mg (extended-release tablets)
– 150mg (sustained-release tablets)

What is Bupropion for?

Bupropion belongs to a class of medications called norepinephrine–dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs). This type of medication works by inhibiting the reuptake of certain types of neurotransmitters so as to prolong their action in the brain. It is used to treat major depression, and as an aid to smoking cessation treatment.

How to use it?

Bupropion can be taken orally as extended-release tablets or sustained-release tablets. Wellbutrin XL extended-release tablets provide a 24-hour long effect, whereas Wellbutrin SR and other generic products provide a 12-hour long effect. Swallow the tablets whole. Do not crush or chew it.

For major depression:
Extended-release tablets (Wellbutrin XL):
Initial dose is 150 mg once daily in the morning for 3 days with at least 24 hours between doses. If tolerated, the dose may be increased to 300 mg once daily. The maximum dose is 450 mg/day.

Sustained-release tablets:
Initial dose is 150 mg once daily in the morning for 3 days with at least 8 hours between doses. If tolerated, the dose may be increased to 150 mg twice daily. The maximum dose is 200 mg twice daily. Do not exceed 200 mg in a single dose. 

For smoking cessation:
Sustained-release tablets:
Initial dose is 150 mg once daily in the morning for 3 days with at least 8 hours between doses. If tolerated, the dose may be increased to 150 mg twice daily. The maximum dose is 300 mg/day.

What are the side effects of Bupropion?

Common side effects of Bupropion include faster heart rate, constipation, nausea, confusion, dizziness, insomnia, tremor, agitation or anxiety.

Who should not take Bupropion?

– People who are allergic to Bupropion or any component of the formulation
– Patients with seizure disorders or history of anorexia/bulimia
– Patients undergoing abrupt discontinuation of alcohol or sedatives, including benzodiazepines, barbiturates, or antiepileptic drugs

Pharmacist Tips:

– For smoking cessation, begin therapy while still smoking and set a target quit date within the first 2 weeks of Bupropion use. If you successfully quit smoking, continue treatment for at least 12 weeks.
– It might take a few weeks for Bupropion to reach its full effect. Do not stop taking Bupropion suddenly as you may suffer from withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea and dizziness.

Common dosing schedule:
Bupropion can be taken with food or without food, but you may take it with food if it upsets your stomach or if you have nausea.

Also, it is best to take it in the morning to minimize any trouble sleeping. 

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Bupropion may interact with:
– Monoamine oxidase inhibitors, e.g. Selegiline
– Antidepressants, e.g. Fluoxetine, Sertraline
– Beta-blockers, e.g. Metoprolol

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Bupropion in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Bupropion is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Bupropion in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

For detailed information about the use of alprazolam in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.