Wellbutrin (or bupropion) is commonly used to treat depression. It works by restoring a chemical imbalance in the brain and can improve one’s mood, as well as their overall feelings of well-being.

Use and Dosage

You should take Wellbutrin by mouth, with or without food, typically three times daily (but as specifically instructed by your doctor). It is also important you take each dose at least 6 hours apart, unless your doctor tells you otherwise, as this will decrease your risk of having a seizure.

Exact dosage varies from person to person, as it depends on your underlying medical condition and initial response to treatment. It is likely that your doctor will start you at a low dosage, in order to reduce your risk of side effects—such as sleeplessness—but they may then increase it as needed.

Avoid taking Wellbutrin more or less than prescribed or more or less often than prescribed, as taking more than the prescribed dosage may (again) increase your risk of having a seizure. More specifically, you should not take more than 150 milligrams of Wellbutrin per dose, or more than 450 milligrams per day. Furthermore, you should not stop taking this medication before consulting your doctor—doing so may worsen certain conditions. Your doctor will slowly ween you off of the medicine to prevent this from happening.

Side Effects

It is not uncommon to experience unwanted side effects from new medication. The side effects of Wellbutrin, however, do not typically outweigh its benefits. And if they do happen to persist or worsen, a simple conversation with your doctor may yield an easy solution. Still, it is important to make yourself aware of the possible side effects, whether they be mild, more serious, or severe:

  • Mild Effects: Nausea, headache, dizziness, sore throat, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, dry mouth, increased sweating, joint aches, or blurred vision. If you experience any of these mild side effects, which persist or worsen over time, simply talk to your doctor promptly.
  • Serious Effects: Fainting, chest pain, pounding or irregular heartbeat, severe headache, hearing problems, anxiety, confusion, hallucinations, memory loss, uncontrolled movements, or unusual weight loss/gain. If you experience any of these more serious side effects, tell your doctor right away.
  • Severe Effects: Muscle pain or tenderness, eye swelling or redness, widened pupils, or other concerning changes in vision. If you experience any of these severe side effects, seek medical help immediately.

In addition to the aforementioned side effects, it is also possible to have a seizure as a result of taking Wellbutrin. If you have a seizure, you should seek medical attention immediately and also stop taking the medication right away. Furthermore, you can also have a very serious allergic reaction to this drug—though this seldom occurs, you should be aware of the symptoms, which include a rash, itching, swelling, difficulty breathing, and severe dizziness. And if you do experience any of these symptoms, you should again seek medical help right away.

Before Taking Wellbutrin…

Any time you’re considering starting a new medication, it is important that you take precautionary measures. These include…

    …talking to your doctor about any existing allergies, as this product may contain inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or other issues.

    …discussing your medical history with your doctor, especially regarding a history of seizures, brain tumors or injuries, eating disorders, alcohol/drug dependency, diabetes, kidney problems, liver problems, heart disease, psychiatric disorders (bipolar disorder), or suicidal thoughts/attempts.

    …fully understanding the drug’s effects and risks, as Wellbutrin can cause the aforementioned side effects, some of which (e.g., dizziness or drowsiness) hinder your ability to drive, use machinery, or perform any other activity that requires alertness. Certain ages may also be more vulnerable to certain side effects—for example, adults may be more sensitive to dizziness and memory loss.