Monday, November 5, 2012

Wellbutrin (bupropion)

Wellbutrin (bupropion) is an antidepressant medication. It works in the brain to treat depression.

Wellbutrin is used to treat major depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder. At least one brand of bupropion (Zyban) is used to help people stop smoking by reducing cravings and other withdrawal effects.
Do not take Wellbutrin if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. You should not take Wellbutrin if you have seizures, an eating disorder, if you are using a second form of bupropion, or if you have suddenly stopped using alcohol or sedatives.
Wellbutrin may cause seizures, especially in people with certain medical conditions or when using certain drugs. Tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions and the drugs you use.

You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking an antidepressant such as Wellbutrin, especially if you are younger than 24 years old. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself. Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Wellbutrin. It may increase your risk of seizures.
My husband had a long (undiagnosed) history of depression. The final straw was when his brother died in December 07. Declining for the next 5 months, withdrawing more and more, not wanting to work, go anywhere, short tempered, paranoid, until finally he attempted suicide (not the first time). Doctor prescribed Wellbutrin 75mg 2 x daily for 3 months. He's been a different person on the medicines. He says "it makes him feel like he SHOULD feel, like he felt as a happy child, instead of what he's become over the years." It helps with mood swings, helps him not overreact to small irritations anymore. He increased to 3 x daily after a slight slump. Don't try to stop without doctor's advice. He tried that and went back to his depression again.