How To Take Wellbutrin (Bupropion)

WELLBUTRIN SR and XL (Bupropion)

Wellbutrin SR comes in two strengths: 100mg blue tablets and 150mg purple tablets. Wellbutrin XL comes in 150mg and 300mg tablets.

Wellbutrin enhances the brain’s natural stimulants, dopamine and norepinephrine. These help increase mental energy and motivation/interest. Wellbutrin also helps to control addictions, increase sexual functioning (especially libido and orgasm), and aids in weight reduction.  Wellbutrin works just as effectively as the Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’S) for anxiety symptoms associated with depression. 

HOW TO TAKE FOR DEPRESSION

WELLBUTRIN XL

Do not break tablets.


Starting dose
150mg in the morning for one week
After one week Increase dose to 300 mg in morning.
Sometimes dose needs to be increased to 450mg, and rarely to 600mg.

WELLBUTRIN SR

Starting dose One 150 mg tablet in the morning. 

If any significant side effects, decrease dose by cutting the tablet in half or switch to 100mg tablet. (Only about 10% of the slow release action is lost when the tablet is cut.)


After 3 – 7 days
Add a 2nd tablet at lunch

After 1 week on 2 tablets per day
Take both tablets in the morning if tolerated
After 3 – 4 weeks of 2 tablets per day If dose is not strong enough, add a 3rd tablet per day and take in divided doses of 2 in the morning and 1 at lunch.
(A total of four tablets per day can be used in divided doses but this is rarely needed by most people.)

OTHER TREATMENTS

SMOKING

300mg of Wellbutrin SR is usually the most effective dose to help quit or decrease smoking. It’s is even more effective when combined with nicotine replacement. (Nicotrol inhaler is best-tolerated form) 

A smoker does not have to be motivated to decrease or discontinue smoking. They just need to try the drug along with the smoking. Most people find that after taking the medication they no longer crave nicotine, and the need to smoke decreases.

SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION

Wellbutrin is effective for treatment of low sexual interest. It can also help primary orgasmic dysfunction or secondary orgasmic problems caused by other medications, especially SSRI’s. Treatment success is usually 40-50% for orgasmic dysfunction on an “as needed” basis.

WEIGHT REDUCTION

Wellbutrin has recently been found in studies to improve weight loss in obese patients. It is also an effective treatment for sluggishness and weight gain secondary to medications.

ADD and BOREDOM

Often respond well to Wellbutrin.

ANTIDEPRESSANT AUGMENTATION

Wellbutrin works well as a complementary drug with other antidepressants to achieve a more effective response in some patients.

SIDE EFFECTS

Side effects are usually mild and controllable with a dose adjustment or by adding a second medication to control side effects until they subside.

Most common side effects are:

  • Insomnia
  • Dry Mouth
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability

For full information, see package insert or prescribing information.

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One Response to “How To Take Wellbutrin (Bupropion)”

  • Patti says:

    Dear Dr. Jones: My 28 y.o. son has been under the care of a noteworthy doctor in the Dallas area, since he was 19, for depression. John has been on many medications and supplements, without desired results. For the past 4 months, he’s taken himself off all meds, since he feels it’s a lot of money with no results. Weight gain and self medicating with alcohol further add to his list of problems. John is open to something different, as he desires a change for the better in his life. However, he doesn’t have the energy to pursue options – I’m sure you understand. That’s why I’m writing to you. Just recently I read about ECT and Vagus Nerve Stimulation, and you were cited in the article regarding depression. My son needs a different approach – do you feel that you are the doctor that can help him? IF NOT, WOULD YOU MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS? Within the next week (depending upon whether I have jury duty) I’ll be going to Dallas, from Georgia, and would like to research the best options for my son, while there. Sincerely,