Medically reviewed by Oliinyk Elizabeth Ivanovna, PharmD. Last updated on 2020-03-15
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Wellbutrin Tablets (bupropion hydrochloride) is indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).
The efficacy of bupropion in the treatment of a major depressive episode was established in two 4- week controlled inpatient trials and one 6-week controlled outpatient trial of adult subjects with MDD.
The efficacy of Wellbutrin Tablets in maintaining an antidepressant response for up to 44 weeks following 8 weeks of acute treatment was demonstrated in a placebo-controlled trial.
General Instructions For Use
To minimize the risk of seizure, increase the dose gradually. Wellbutrin Tablets tablets should be swallowed whole and not crushed, divided, or chewed. Wellbutrin Tablets may be taken with or without food.
The usual adult target dose for Wellbutrin Tablets is 300 mg per day, given as 150 mg twice daily. Initiate dosing with 150 mg per day given as a single daily dose in the morning. After 3 days of dosing, the dose may be increased to the 300-mg-per-day target dose, given as 150 mg twice daily. There should be an interval of at least 8 hours between successive doses. A maximum of 400 mg per day, given as 200 mg twice daily, may be considered for patients in whom no clinical improvement is noted after several weeks of treatment at 300 mg per day. To avoid high peak concentrations of bupropion and/or its metabolites, do not exceed 200 mg in any single dose.
It is generally agreed that acute episodes of depression require several months or longer of antidepressant drug treatment beyond the response in the acute episode. It is unknown whether the dose of Wellbutrin Tablets needed for maintenance treatment is identical to the dose that provided an initial response. Periodically reassess the need for maintenance treatment and the appropriate dose for such treatment.
Dose Adjustment In Patients With Hepatic Impairment
In patients with moderate to severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh score: 7 to 15), the maximum dose of Wellbutrin Tablets is 100 mg per day or 150 mg every other day. In patients with mild hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh score: 5 to 6), consider reducing the dose and/or frequency of dosing.
Dose Adjustment In Patients With Renal Impairment
Consider reducing the dose and/or frequency of WELLBUTRIN SR in patients with renal impairment (Glomerular Filtration Rate less than 90 mL per min).
Switching A Patient To Or From A Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI) Antidepressant
At least 14 days should elapse between discontinuation of an MAOI intended to treat depression and initiation of therapy with WELLBUTRIN SR. Conversely, at least 14 days should be allowed after stopping Wellbutrin Tablets before starting an MAOI antidepressant.
Use Of Wellbutrin Tablets With Reversible MAOIs Such As Linezolid Or Methylene Blue
Do not start Wellbutrin Tablets in a patient who is being treated with a reversible MAOI such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue. Drug interactions can increase the risk of hypertensive reactions. In a patient who requires more urgent treatment of a psychiatric condition, nonpharmacological interventions, including hospitalization, should be considered.
In some cases, a patient already receiving therapy with WELLBUTRIN SR may require urgent treatment with linezolid or intravenous methylene blue. If acceptable alternatives to linezolid or intravenous methylene blue treatment are not available and the potential benefits of linezolid or intravenous methylene blue treatment are judged to outweigh the risks of hypertensive reactions in a particular patient, Wellbutrin Tablets should be stopped promptly, and linezolid or intravenous methylene blue can be administered. The patient should be monitored for 2 weeks or until 24 hours after the last dose of linezolid or intravenous methylene blue, whichever comes first. Therapy with Wellbutrin Tablets may be resumed 24 hours after the last dose of linezolid or intravenous methylene blue.
The risk of administering methylene blue by non-intravenous routes (such as oral tablets or by local injection) or in intravenous doses much lower than 1 mg per kg with Wellbutrin Tablets is unclear. The clinician should, nevertheless, be aware of the possibility of a drug interaction with such use.
- Wellbutrin Tablets is contraindicated in patients with a seizure disorder.
- Wellbutrin Tablets is contraindicated in patients with a current or prior diagnosis of bulimia oranorexia nervosa as a higher incidence of seizures was observed in such patients treated with the immediate-release formulation of bupropion.
- Wellbutrin Tablets is contraindicated in patients undergoing abrupt discontinuation of alcohol, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and antiepileptic drugs.
- The use of MAOIs (intended to treat psychiatric disorders) concomitantly with Wellbutrin Tablets or within 14 days of discontinuing treatment with Wellbutrin Tablets is contraindicated. There is an increased risk of hypertensive reactions when Wellbutrin Tablets is used concomitantly with MAOIs. The use of Wellbutrin Tablets within 14 days of discontinuing treatment with an MAOI is also contraindicated. Starting Wellbutrin Tablets in a patient treated with reversible MAOIs such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue is contraindicated.
- Wellbutrin Tablets is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to bupropion or other ingredients of Wellbutrin Tablets. Anaphylactoid/anaphylactic reactions and Stevens- Johnson syndrome have been reported.
Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.
Suicidal Thoughts And Behaviors In Children, Adoles cents , and Young Adults
Patients with MDD, both adult and pediatric, may experience worsening of their depression and/or the emergence of suicidal ideation and behavior (suicidality) or unusual changes in behavior, whether or not they are taking antidepressant medications, and this risk may persist until significant remission occurs. Suicide is a known risk of depression and certain other psychiatric disorders, and these disorders themselves are the strongest predictors of suicide. There has been a long-standing concern that antidepressants may have a role in inducing worsening of depression and the emergence of suicidality in certain patients during the early phases of treatment.
Pooled analyses of short-term placebo-controlled trials of antidepressant drugs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors [SSRIs] and others) show that these drugs increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 18 to 24) with MDD and other psychiatric disorders. Short-term clinical trials did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared with placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction with antidepressants compared with placebo in adults aged 65 and older.
The pooled analyses of placebo-controlled trials in children and adolescents with MDD, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), or other psychiatric disorders included a total of 24 short-term trials of 9 antidepressant drugs in over 4,400 subjects. The pooled analyses of placebo-controlled trials in adults with MDD or other psychiatric disorders included a total of 295 short-term trials (median duration of 2 months) of 11 antidepressant drugs in over 77,000 subjects. There was considerable variation in risk of suicidality among drugs, but a tendency toward an increase in the younger subjects for almost all drugs studied. There were differences in absolute risk of suicidality across the different indications, with the highest incidence in MDD. The risk differences (drug vs. placebo), however, were relatively stable within age strata and across indications. These risk differences (drug-placebo difference in the number of cases of suicidality per 1,000 subjects treated) are provided in Table 1.
Table 1: Risk Differences in the Number of Suicidality Cases by Age Group in the Pooled Placebo-Controlled Trials of Antidepressants in Pediatric and Adult Subjects
|Age Range||Drug-Placebo Difference in Number of Cases of Suicidality per 1,000 Subjects Treated|
|Increases Compared with Placebo|
|< 18||14 additional cases|
|18-24||5 additional cases|
|Decreases Compared with Placebo|
|25-64||1 fewer case|
|≥ 65||6 fewer cases|
No suicides occurred in any of the pediatric trials. There were suicides in the adult trials, but the number was not sufficient to reach any conclusion about drug effect on suicide.
It is unknown whether the suicidality risk extends to longer-term use, i.e., beyond several months. However, there is substantial evidence from placebo-controlled maintenance trials in adults with depression that the use of antidepressants can delay the recurrence of depression.
All patients being treated with antidepressants for any indication should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the initial few months of a course of drug therapy, or at times of dose changes, either increases or decreases.
The following symptoms, anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, and mania, have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants for major depressive disorder as well as for other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric. Although a causal link between the emergence of such symptoms and either the worsening of depression and/or the emergence of suicidal impulses has not been established, there is concern that such symptoms may represent precursors to emerging suicidality.
Consideration should be given to changing the therapeutic regimen, including possibly discontinuing the medication, in patients whose depression is persistently worse, or who are experiencing emergent suicidality or symptoms that might be precursors to worsening depression or suicidality, especially if these symptoms are severe, abrupt in onset, or were not part of the patient's presenting symptoms.
Families and caregivers of patients being treated with antidepressants for MDD or other indications , both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric, should be alerted about the need to monitor patients for the emergence of agitation, irritability, unusual changes in behavior, and the other symptoms described above, as well as the emergence of suicidality, and to report such symptoms immediately to healthcare providers. Such monitoring should include daily observation by families and caregivers. Prescriptions for Wellbutrin Tablets should be written for the smallest quantity of tablets cons is tent with good patient management, in order to reduce the risk of overdose.
Neuropsychiatric Symptoms And Suicide Risk In Smoking Cessation Treatment
Wellbutrin Tablets is not approved for smoking cessation treatment; however, ZYBAN® is approved for this use. Serious neuropsychiatric symptoms have been reported in patients taking bupropion for smoking cessation. These have included changes in mood (including depression and mania), psychosis, hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, homicidal ideation, hostility, agitation, aggression, anxiety, and panic, as well as suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, and completed suicide. Observe patients for the occurrence of neuropsychiatric reactions. Instruct patients to contact a healthcare professional if such reactions occur.
In many of these cases, a causal relationship to bupropion treatment is not certain, because depressed mood can be a symptom of nicotine withdrawal. However, some of the cases occurred in patients taking bupropion who continued to smoke.
Wellbutrin Tablets can cause seizure. The risk of seizure is dose-related. The dose should not exceed 400 mg per day. Increase the dose gradually. Discontinue Wellbutrin Tablets and do not restart treatment if the patient experiences a seizure.
The risk of seizures is also related to patient factors, clinical situations, and concomitant medications that lower the seizure threshold. Consider these risks before initiating treatment with Wellbutrin Tablets. WELLBUTRIN SR is contraindicated in patients with a seizure disorder, current or prior diagnosis of anorexia nervosa or bulimia, or undergoing abrupt discontinuation of alcohol, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and antiepileptic drugs. The following conditions can also increase the risk of seizure: severe head injury; arteriovenous malformation; CNS tumor or CNS infection; severe stroke; concomitant use of other medications that lower the seizure threshold (e.g., other bupropion products, antipsychotics, tricyclic antidepressants, theophylline, and systemic corticosteroids); metabolic disorders (e.g., hypoglycemia, hyponatremia, severe hepatic impairment, and hypoxia); use of illicit drugs (e.g., cocaine); or abuse or misuse of prescription drugs such as CNS stimulants. Additional predisposing conditions include diabetes mellitus treated with oral hypoglycemic drugs or insulin; use of anorectic drugs; and excessive use of alcohol, benzodiazepines, sedative/hypnotics, or opiates.
Incidence Of Seizure With Bupropion Use
When Wellbutrin Tablets is dosed up to 300 mg per day, the incidence of seizure is approximately 0.1% (1/1,000) and increases to approximately 0.4% (4/1,000) at the maximum recommended dose of 400 mg per day.
The risk of seizure can be reduced if the dose of Wellbutrin Tablets does not exceed 400 mg per day, given as 200 mg twice daily, and the titration rate is gradual.
Treatment with Wellbutrin Tablets can result in elevated blood pressure and hypertension. Assess blood pressure before initiating treatment with Wellbutrin Tablets, and monitor periodically during treatment. The risk of hypertension is increased if Wellbutrin Tablets is used concomitantly with MAOIs or other drugs that increase dopaminergic or noradrenergic activity.
Data from a comparative trial of the sustained-release formulation of bupropion HCl, nicotine transdermal system (NTS), the combination of sustained-release bupropion plus NTS, and placebo as an aid to smoking cessation suggest a higher incidence of treatment-emergent hypertension in patients treated with the combination of sustained-release bupropion and NTS. In this trial, 6.1% of subjects treated with the combination of sustained-release bupropion and NTS had treatment-emergent hypertension compared with 2.5%, 1.6%, and 3.1% of subjects treated with sustained-release bupropion, NTS, and placebo, respectively. The majority of these subjects had evidence of pre-existing hypertension. Three subjects (1.2%) treated with the combination of sustained-release bupropion and NTS and 1 subject (0.4%) treated with NTS had study medication discontinued due to hypertension compared with none of the subjects treated with sustained-release bupropion or placebo. Monitoring of blood pressure is recommended in patients who receive the combination of bupropion and nicotine replacement.
In a clinical trial of bupropion immediate-release in MDD subjects with stable congestive heart failure (N = 36), bupropion was associated with an exacerbation of pre-existing hypertension in 2 subjects, leading to discontinuation of bupropion treatment. There are no controlled trials assessing the safety of bupropion in patients with a recent history of myocardial infarction or unstable cardiac disease.
Activation Of Mania/Hypomania
Antidepressant treatment can precipitate a manic, mixed, or hypomanic manic episode. The risk appears to be increased in patients with bipolar disorder or who have risk factors for bipolar disorder. Prior to initiating Wellbutrin Tablets, screen patients for a history of bipolar disorder and the presence of risk factors for bipolar disorder (e.g., family history of bipolar disorder, suicide, or depression). Wellbutrin Tablets is not approved for use in treating bipolar depression.
Psychosis And Other Neuropsychiatric Reactions
Depressed patients treated with Wellbutrin Tablets have had a variety of neuropsychiatric signs and symptoms, including delusions, hallucinations, psychosis, concentration disturbance, paranoia, and confusion. Some of these patients had a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. In some cases, these symptoms abated upon dose reduction and/or withdrawal of treatment. Instruct patients to contact a healthcare professional if such reactions occur.
The pupillary dilation that occurs following use of many antidepressant drugs including Wellbutrin Tablets may trigger an angle-closure attack in a patient with anatomically narrow angles who does not have a patent iridectomy.
Anaphylactoid/anaphylactic reactions have occurred during clinical trials with bupropion. Reactions have been characterized by pruritus, urticaria, angioedema, and dyspnea requiring medical treatment. In addition, there have been rare, spontaneous postmarketing reports of erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and anaphylactic shock associated with bupropion. Instruct patients to discontinue Wellbutrin Tablets and consult a healthcare provider if they develop an allergic or anaphylactoid/anaphylactic reaction (e.g., skin rash, pruritus, hives, chest pain, edema, and shortness of breath) during treatment.
There are reports of arthralgia, myalgia, fever with rash and other serum sickness-like symptoms suggestive of delayed hypersensitivity.
Patient Counseling Information
Advise the patient to read the FDA-approved patient labeling (Medication Guide).
Inform patients, their families, and their caregivers about the benefits and risks associated with treatment with Wellbutrin Tablets and counsel them in its appropriate use.
A patient Medication Guide about “Antidepressant Medicines, Depression and Other Serious Mental Illnesses, and Suicidal Thoughts or Actions,” “Quitting Smoking, Quit-Smoking Medications, Changes in Thinking and Behavior, Depression, and Suicidal Thoughts or Actions,” and “What Other Important Information Should I Know About Wellbutrin Tablets?” is available for Wellbutrin Tablets. Instruct patients, their families, and their caregivers to read the Medication Guide and assist them in understanding its contents. Patients should be given the opportunity to discuss the contents of the Medication Guide and to obtain answers to any questions they may have. The complete text of the Medication Guide is reprinted at the end of this document.
Advise patients regarding the following issues and to alert their prescriber if these occur while taking Wellbutrin Tablets.
Suicidal Thoughts And Behaviors
Instruct patients, their families, and/or their caregivers to be alert to the emergence of anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, mania, other unusual changes in behavior, worsening of depression, and suicidal ideation, especially early during antidepressant treatment and when the dose is adjusted up or down. Advise families and caregivers of patients to observe for the emergence of such symptoms on a day-to-day basis, since changes may be abrupt. Such symptoms should be reported to the patientÃ¢â‚¬™s prescriber or healthcare professional, especially if they are severe, abrupt in onset, or were not part of the patientÃ¢â‚¬™s presenting symptoms. Symptoms such as these may be associated with an increased risk for suicidal thinking and behavior and indicate a need for very close monitoring and possibly changes in the medication.
Neuropsychiatric Symptoms And Suicide Risk In Smoking Cessation Treatment
Although Wellbutrin Tablets is not indicated for smoking cessation treatment, it contains the same active ingredient as ZYBAN which is approved for this use. Advise patients, families and caregivers that quitting smoking, with or without ZYBAN, may trigger nicotine withdrawal symptoms (e.g., including depression or agitation), or worsen pre-existing psychiatric illness. Some patients have experienced changes in mood (including depression and mania), psychosis, hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, homicidal ideation, aggression, anxiety, and panic, as well as suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, and completed suicide when attempting to quit smoking while taking ZYBAN. If patients develop agitation, hostility, depressed mood, or changes in thinking or behavior that are not typical for them, or if patients develop suicidal ideation or behavior, they should be urged to report these symptoms to their healthcare provider immediately.
Severe Allergic Reactions
Educate patients on the symptoms of hypersensitivity and to discontinue Wellbutrin Tablets if they have a severe allergic reaction.
Instruct patients to discontinue and not restart Wellbutrin Tablets if they experience a seizure while on treatment. Advise patients that the excessive use or abrupt discontinuation of alcohol, benzodiazepines, antiepileptic drugs, or sedatives/hypnotics can increase the risk of seizure. Advise patients to minimize or avoid use of alcohol.
As the dose is increased during initial titration to doses above 150 mg per day, instruct patients to take Wellbutrin Tablets in 2 divided doses, preferably with at least 8 hours between successive doses, to minimize the risk of seizures.
Patients should be advised that taking Wellbutrin Tablets can cause mild pupillary dilation, which in susceptible individuals, can lead to an episode of angle-closure glaucoma. Pre-existing glaucoma is almost always open-angle glaucoma because angle-closure glaucoma, when diagnosed, can be treated definitively with iridectomy. Open-angle glaucoma is not a risk factor for angle-closure glaucoma. Patients may wish to be examined to determine whether they are susceptible to angle closure, and have a prophylactic procedure (e.g., iridectomy), if they are susceptible.
Educate patients that Wellbutrin Tablets contains the same active ingredient (bupropion hydrochloride) found in ZYBAN, which is used as an aid to smoking cessation treatment, and that Wellbutrin Tablets should not be used in combination with ZYBAN or any other medications that contain bupropion (such as WELLBUTRIN®, the immediate-release formulation and WELLBUTRIN XL ® or FORFIVO XL®, the extended-release formulations, and APLENZIN®, the extended-release formulation of bupropion hydrobromide). In addition, there are a number of generic bupropion HCl products for the immediate-, sustained-, and extended-release formulations.
Potential For Cognitive And Motor Impairment
Advise patients that any CNS-active drug like Wellbutrin Tablets may impair their ability to perform tasks requiring judgment or motor and cognitive skills. Advise patients that until they are reasonably certain that Wellbutrin Tablets does not adversely affect their performance, they should refrain from driving an automobile or operating complex, hazardous machinery. Wellbutrin Tablets may lead to decreased alcohol tolerance.
Counsel patients to notify their healthcare provider if they are taking or plan to take any prescription or over-the-counter drugs because Wellbutrin Tablets sustained-release tablets and other drugs may affect each othersÃ¢â‚¬™ metabolisms.
Advise patients to notify their healthcare provider if they become pregnant or intend to become pregnant during therapy.
Precautions For Nursing Mothers
Advise patients that Wellbutrin Tablets is present in human milk in small amounts.
Instruct patients to store Wellbutrin Tablets at room temperature, between 59°F and 86°F (15°C to 30°C) and keep the tablets dry and out of the light.
Instruct patients to swallow Wellbutrin Tablets tablets whole so that the release rate is not altered. Do not chew, divide, or crush tablets; they are designed to slowly release drug in the body. When patients take more than 150 mg per day, instruct them to take Wellbutrin Tablets in 2 doses at least 8 hours apart, to minimize the risk of seizures. Instruct patients if they miss a dose, not to take an extra tablet to make up for the missed dose and to take the next tablet at the regular time because of the dose-related risk of seizure. Instruct patients that Wellbutrin Tablets tablets may have an odor. Wellbutrin Tablets can be taken with or without food.
WELLBUTRIN, Wellbutrin Tablets, WELLBUTRIN XL, and ZYBAN are registered trademarks of the GSK group of companies. The other brands listed are trademarks of their respective owners and are not trademarks of the GSK group of companies. The makers of these brands are not affiliated with and do not endorse the GSK group of companies or its products.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
Lifetime carcinogenicity studies were performed in rats and mice at bupropion doses up to 300 and 150 mg per kg per day, respectively. These doses are approximately 7 and 2 times the MRHD, respectively, on a mg per m² basis. In the rat study there was an increase in nodular proliferative lesions of the liver at doses of 100 to 300 mg per kg per day (approximately 2 to 7 times the MRHD on a mg per m² basis); lower doses were not tested. The question of whether or not such lesions may be precursors of neoplasms of the liver is currently unresolved. Similar liver lesions were not seen in the mouse study, and no increase in malignant tumors of the liver and other organs was seen in either study.
Bupropion produced a positive response (2 to 3 times control mutation rate) in 2 of 5 strains in the Ames bacterial mutagenicity assay. Bupropion produced an increase in chromosomal aberrations in 1 of 3 in vivo rat bone marrow cytogenetic studies.
A fertility study in rats at doses up to 300 mg per kg per day revealed no evidence of impaired fertility.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category C
Data from epidemiological studies of pregnant women exposed to bupropion in the first trimester indicate no increased risk of congenital malformations overall. All pregnancies, regardless of drug exposure, have a background rate of 2% to 4% for major malformations, and 15% to 20% for pregnancy loss. No clear evidence of teratogenic activity was found in reproductive developmental studies conducted in rats and rabbits; however, in rabbits, slightly increased incidences of fetal malformations and skeletal variations were observed at doses approximately equal to the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) and greater and decreased fetal weights were seen at doses twice the MRHD and greater. Wellbutrin Tablets should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
Consider the risks of untreated depression when discontinuing or changing treatment with antidepressant medications during pregnancy and postpartum.
Data from the international bupropion Pregnancy Registry (675 first trimester exposures) and a retrospective cohort study using the United Healthcare database (1,213 first trimester exposures) did not show an increased risk for malformations overall.
No increased risk for cardiovascular malformations overall has been observed after bupropion exposure during the first trimester. The prospectively observed rate of cardiovascular malformations in pregnancies with exposure to bupropion in the first trimester from the international Pregnancy Registry was 1.3% (9 cardiovascular malformations/675 first-trimester maternal bupropion exposures), which is similar to the background rate of cardiovascular malformations (approximately 1%). Data from the United Healthcare database and a case-control study (6,853 infants with cardiovascular malformations and 5,763 with non-cardiovascular malformations) from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS) did not show an increased risk for cardiovascular malformations overall after bupropion exposure during the first trimester.
Study findings on bupropion exposure during the first trimester and risk for left ventricular outflow tract obstruction (LVOTO) are inconsistent and do not allow conclusions regarding a possible association. The United Healthcare database lacked sufficient power to evaluate this association; the NBDPS found increased risk for LVOTO (n = 10; adjusted OR = 2.6; 95% CI: 1.2, 5.7), and the Slone Epidemiology case control study did not find increased risk for LVOTO.
Study findings on bupropion exposure during the first trimester and risk for ventricular septal defect (VSD) are inconsistent and do not allow conclusions regarding a possible association. The Slone Epidemiology Study found an increased risk for VSD following first trimester maternal bupropion exposure (n = 17; adjusted OR = 2.5; 95% CI: 1.3, 5.0) but did not find increased risk for any other cardiovascular malformations studied (including LVOTO as above). The NBDPS and United Healthcare database study did not find an association between first trimester maternal bupropion exposure and VSD.
For the findings of LVOTO and VSD, the studies were limited by the small number of exposed cases, inconsistent findings among studies, and the potential for chance findings from multiple comparisons in case control studies.
In studies conducted in rats and rabbits, bupropion was administered orally during the period of organogenesis at doses of up to 450 and 150 mg per kg per day, respectively (approximately 11 and 7 times the MRHD, respectively, on a mg per m² basis). No clear evidence of teratogenic 2 activity was found in either species; however, in rabbits, slightly increased incidences of fetal malformations and skeletal variations were observed at the lowest dose tested (25 mg per kg per day, approximately equal to the MRHD on a mg per m² basis) and greater. Decreased fetal weights were observed at 50 mg per kg and greater.
When rats were administered bupropion at oral doses of up to 300 mg per kg per day (approximately 7 times the MRHD on a mg per m basis) prior to mating and throughout pregnancy and lactation, there were no apparent adverse effects on offspring development.
Bupropion and its metabolites are present in human milk. In a lactation study of 10 women, levels of orally dosed bupropion and its active metabolites were measured in expressed milk. The average daily infant exposure (assuming 150 mL per kg daily consumption) to bupropion and its active metabolites was 2% of the maternal weight-adjusted dose. Exercise caution when Wellbutrin Tablets is administered to a nursing woman.
Safety and effectiveness in the pediatric population have not been established.
Of the approximately 6,000 subjects who participated in clinical trials with bupropion sustained-release tablets (depression and smoking cessation trials), 275 were aged ≥ 65 years and 47 were aged ≥ 75 years. In addition, several hundred subjects aged ≥ 65 years participated in clinical trials using the immediaterelease formulation of bupropion (depression trials). No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects. Reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.
Bupropion is extensively metabolized in the liver to active metabolites, which are further metabolized and excreted by the kidneys. The risk of adverse reactions may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, it may be necessary to consider this factor in dose selection; it may be useful to monitor renal function.
Consider a reduced dose and/or dosing frequency of Wellbutrin Tablets in patients with renal impairment (Glomerular Filtration Rate: less than 90 mL per min). Bupropion and its metabolites are cleared renally and may accumulate in such patients to a greater extent than usual. Monitor closely for adverse reactions that could indicate high bupropion or metabolite exposures.
In patients with moderate to severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh score: 7 to 15), the maximum dose of Wellbutrin Tablets is 100 mg per day or 150 mg every other day. In patients with mild hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh score: 5 to 6), consider reducing the dose and/or frequency of dosing.
The following adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the labeling:
- Suicidal thoughts and behaviors in adolescents and young adults
- Neuropsychiatric symptoms and suicide risk in smoking cessation treatment
- Activation of mania or hypomania
- Psychosis and other neuropsychiatric reactions
- Angle-closure glaucoma
- Hypersensitivity reactions
Clinical Trials Experience
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared with rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice.
Adverse Reactions Leading To Discontinuation Of Treatment
In placebo-controlled clinical trials, 4%, 9%, and 11% of the placebo, 300-mg-per-day, and 400-mg per- day groups, respectively, discontinued treatment due to adverse reactions. The specific adverse reactions leading to discontinuation in at least 1% of the 300-mg-per-day or 400-mg-per-day groups and at a rate at least twice the placebo rate are listed in Table 2.
Table 2: Treatment Discontinuations Due to Adverse Reactions in Placebo-Controlled Trials
|Adverse Reaction||Placebo |
(n = 385)
|Wellbutrin Tablets 300 mg/day |
|Wellbutrin Tablets 400 mg/day |
(n = 114)
Commonly Observed Adverse Reactions
Adverse reactions from Table 3 occurring in at least 5% of subjects treated with Wellbutrin Tablets and at a rate at least twice the placebo rate are listed below for the 300- and 400-mg-per-day dose groups.
Wellbutrin Tablets 300 mg per day: Anorexia, dry mouth, rash, sweating, tinnitus, and tremor.
Wellbutrin Tablets 400 mg per day: Abdominal pain, agitation, anxiety, dizziness, dry mouth, insomnia, myalgia, nausea, palpitation, pharyngitis, sweating, tinnitus, and urinary frequency.
Adverse reactions reported in placebo-controlled trials are presented in Table 3. Reported adverse reactions were classified using a COSTART-based Dictionary.
Table 3: Adverse Reactions Reported by at Least 1% of Subjects and at a Greater Frequency than Placebo in Controlled Clinical Trials
|Body System/ Adverse Reaction||Wellbutrin Tablets 300 mg/day |
|Wellbutrin Tablets 400 mg/day |
(n = 114)
(n = 385)
|Central nervous system stimulation||2%||1%||1%|
|Blurred vision or diplopia||3%||2%||2%|
|Urinary tract infection||1%||0%||—|
|aIncidence based on the number of female subjects. |
— Hyphen denotes adverse events occurring in greater than 0 but less than 0.5% of subjects.
Other Adverse Reactions Observed During The Clinical Development Of Bupropion
In addition to the adverse reactions noted above, the following adverse reactions have been reported in clinical trials with the sustained-release formulation of bupropion in depressed subjects and in nondepressed smokers, as well as in clinical trials with the immediate-release formulation of bupropion.
Adverse reaction frequencies represent the proportion of subjects who experienced a treatment-emergent adverse reaction on at least one occasion in placebo-controlled trials for depression (n = 987) or smoking cessation (n = 1,013), or subjects who experienced an adverse reaction requiring discontinuation of treatment in an open-label surveillance trial with Wellbutrin Tablets (n = 3,100). All treatment-emergent adverse reactions are included except those listed in Table 3, those listed in other safety-related sections of the prescribing information, those subsumed under COSTART terms that are either overly general or excessively specific so as to be uninformative, those not reasonably associated with the use of the drug, and those that were not serious and occurred in fewer than 2 subjects.
Adverse reactions are further categorized by body system and listed in order of decreasing frequency according to the following definitions of frequency: Frequent adverse reactions are defined as those occurring in at least 1/100 subjects. Infrequent adverse reactions are those occurring in 1/100 to 1/1,000 subjects, while rare events are those occurring in less than 1/1,000 subjects.
Body (General): Infrequent were chills, facial edema, and photosensitivity. Rare was malaise.
Cardiovascular: Infrequent were postural hypotension, stroke, tachycardia, and vasodilation. Rare were syncope and myocardial infarction.
Digestive: Infrequent were abnormal liver function, bruxism, gastric reflux, gingivitis, increased salivation, jaundice, mouth ulcers, stomatitis, and thirst. Rare was edema of tongue.
Hemic and Lymphatic: Infrequent was ecchymosis.
Metabolic and Nutritional: Infrequent were edema and peripheral edema.
Musculoskeletal: Infrequent were leg cramps.
Nervous System: Infrequent were abnormal coordination, decreased libido, depersonalization, dysphoria, emotional lability, hostility, hyperkinesia, hypertonia, hypesthesia, suicidal ideation, and vertigo. Rare were amnesia, ataxia, derealization, and hypomania.
Respiratory: Rare was bronchospasm.
Special Senses: Infrequent were accommodation abnormality and dry eye.
Urogenital: Infrequent were impotence, polyuria, and prostate disorder.
Changes In Body Weight
In placebo-controlled trials, subjects experienced weight gain or weight loss as shown in Table 4.
Table 4: Incidence of Weight Gain and Weight Los s ( ≥ 5 lbs ) in Placebo-Controlled Trials
|Weight Change||Wellbutrin Tablets 300 mg/day |
|Wellbutrin Tablets 400 mg/day |
(n = 112)
|Gained > 5 lbs||3%||2%||4%|
|Lost > 5 lbs||14%||19%||6%|
In clinical trials conducted with the immediate-release formulation of bupropion, 35% of subjects receiving tricyclic antidepressants gained weight, compared with 9% of subjects treated with the immediate-release formulation of bupropion. If weight loss is a major presenting sign of a patient's depressive illness, the anorectic and/or weight-reducing potential of Wellbutrin Tablets should be considered.
The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of Wellbutrin Tablets and are not described elsewhere in the label. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
Arthralgia, myalgia, and fever with rash and other symptoms suggestive of delayed hypersensitivity. These symptoms may resemble serum sickness.
Complete atrioventricular block, extrasystoles, hypotension, hypertension (in some cases severe), phlebitis, and pulmonary embolism.
Colitis, esophagitis, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, gum hemorrhage, hepatitis, intestinal perforation, pancreatitis, and stomach ulcer.
Hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, and syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone.
Hemic and Lymphatic
Anemia, leukocytosis, leukopenia, lymphadenopathy, pancytopenia, and thrombocytopenia. Altered PT and/or INR, infrequently associated with hemorrhagic or thrombotic complications, were observed when bupropion was coadministered with warfarin.
Metabolic and Nutritional
Muscle rigidity/fever/rhabdomyolysis and muscle weakness.
Abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG), aggression, akinesia, aphasia, coma, completed suicide, delirium, delusions, dysarthria, euphoria, extrapyramidal syndrome (dyskinesia, dystonia, hypokinesia, parkinsonism), hallucinations, increased libido, manic reaction, neuralgia, neuropathy, paranoid ideation, restlessness, suicide attempt, and unmasking tardive dyskinesia.
Alopecia, angioedema, exfoliative dermatitis, hirsutism, and Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
Deafness, increased intraocular pressure, and mydriasis.
Abnormal ejaculation, cystitis, dyspareunia, dysuria, gynecomastia, menopause, painful erection, salpingitis, urinary incontinence, urinary retention, and vaginitis.
Human Overdose Experience
Overdoses of up to 30 grams or more of bupropion have been reported. Seizure was reported in approximately one-third of all cases. Other serious reactions reported with overdoses of bupropion alone included hallucinations, loss of consciousness, sinus tachycardia, and ECG changes such as conduction disturbances (including QRS prolongation) or arrhythmias. Fever, muscle rigidity, rhabdomyolysis, hypotension, stupor, coma, and respiratory failure have been reported mainly when bupropion was part of multiple drug overdoses.
Although most patients recovered without sequelae, deaths associated with overdoses of bupropion alone have been reported in patients ingesting large doses of the drug. Multiple uncontrolled seizures, bradycardia, cardiac failure, and cardiac arrest prior to death were reported in these patients.
Consult a Certified Poison Control Center for up-to-date guidance and advice. Telephone numbers for certified poison control centers are listed in the Physician's Desk Reference (PDR). Call 1-800-222- 1222 or refer to www.poison.org.
There are no known antidotes for bupropion. In case of an overdose, provide supportive care, including close medical supervision and monitoring. Consider the possibility of multiple drug overdose. Ensure an adequate airway, oxygenation, and ventilation. Monitor cardiac rhythm and vital signs. Induction of emesis is not recommended.
Bupropion is a racemic mixture. The pharmacological activity and pharmacokinetics of the individual enantiomers have not been studied. The mean elimination half-life (±SD) of bupropion after chronic dosing is 21 (±9) hours, and steady-state plasma concentrations of bupropion are reached within 8 days.
The absolute bioavailability of Wellbutrin Tablets in humans has not been determined because an intravenous formulation for human use is not available. However, it appears likely that only a small proportion of any orally administered dose reaches the systemic circulation intact. In rat and dog studies, the bioavailability of bupropion ranged from 5% to 20%. In humans, following oral administration of Wellbutrin Tablets, peak plasma concentration (Cmax) of bupropion is usually achieved within 3 hours.
In a trial comparing chronic dosing with Wellbutrin Tablets 150 mg twice daily to bupropion immediate-release formulation 100 mg 3 times daily, the steady state Cmax for bupropion after WELLBUTRIN SR administration was approximately 85% of those achieved after bupropion immediate-release formulation administration. Exposure (AUC) to bupropion was equivalent for both formulations. Bioequivalence was also demonstrated for all three major active metabolites (i.e., hydroxybupropion, threohydrobupropion and erythrohydrobupropion) for both Cmax and AUC. Thus, at steady state, WELLBUTRIN SR given twice daily, and the immediate-release formulation of bupropion given 3 times daily, are essentially bioequivalent for both bupropion and the 3 quantitatively important metabolites.
Wellbutrin Tablets can be taken with or without food. Bupropion Cmax and AUC were increased by 11% to 35% and 16% to 19%, respectively, when Wellbutrin Tablets was administered with food to healthy volunteers in three trials. The food effect is not considered clinically significant.
In vitro tests show that bupropion is 84% bound to human plasma proteins at concentrations up to 200 mcg per mL. The extent of protein binding of the hydroxybupropion metabolite is similar to that for bupropion; whereas, the extent of protein binding of the threohydrobupropion metabolite is about half that seen with bupropion.
Bupropion is extensively metabolized in humans. Three metabolites are active: hydroxybupropion, which is formed via hydroxylation of the tert-butyl group of bupropion, and the amino-alcohol isomers, threohydrobupropion and erythrohydrobupropion, which are formed via reduction of the carbonyl group. In vitro findings suggest that CYP2B6 is the principal isoenzyme involved in the formation of hydroxybupropion, while cytochrome P450 enzymes are not involved in the formation of threohydrobupropion. Oxidation of the bupropion side chain results in the formation of a glycine conjugate of meta-chlorobenzoic acid, which is then excreted as the major urinary metabolite. The potency and toxicity of the metabolites relative to bupropion have not been fully characterized. However, it has been demonstrated in an antidepressant screening test in mice that hydroxybupropion is one-half as potent as bupropion, while threohydrobupropion and erythrohydrobupropion are 5-fold less potent than bupropion. This may be of clinical importance because the plasma concentrations of the metabolites are as high as or higher than those of bupropion.
Following a single-dose administration of Wellbutrin Tablets in humans, Cmax of hydroxybupropion occurs approximately 6 hours post-dose and is approximately 10 times the peak level of the parent drug at steady state. The elimination half-life of hydroxybupropion is approximately 20 (±5) hours and its AUC at steady state is about 17 times that of bupropion. The times to peak concentrations for the erythrohydrobupropion and threohydrobupropion metabolites are similar to that of the hydroxybupropion metabolite. However, their elimination half-lives are longer, 33 (±10) and 37 (±13) hours, respectively, and steady-state AUCs are 1.5 and 7 times that of bupropion, respectively.
Bupropion and its metabolites exhibit linear kinetics following chronic administration of 300 to 450 mg per day.
Following oral administration of 200 mg of 14C-bupropion in humans, 87% and 10% of the radioactive dose were recovered in the urine and feces, respectively. Only 0.5% of the oral dose was excreted as unchanged bupropion.